Question: Can the Torah be read at night? Can we have our Aufruf on Friday night?
My fiance and I are interested in doing a Friday night Aufruf for our wedding, but we heard that the Torah shouldn't be read at night. Is this true?
Answer: Mazal Tov on your upcoming wedding!
There is a very strong custom among Jews not to read the Torah at night. It has a Kabbalistic basis and reflects the different natures of day and night as times of light and darkness. It is believed that official Readings of the Torah during an unlit time shows a lack of sensitivity to the "Orah" (light) of Torah.
It is important to clarify that Torah study, as opposed to official Torah Reading, is always appropriate. The Written law and Oral law have different personalities (so to speak). The re-enactment of Sinai that is implicit in the Torah Reading is by nature a daytime activity. But the individualized nature of the Oral law is much more appropriate for piercing through the curtain of the night.
On that note I would advise you to celebrate your Aufruf during the day. One should begin their lives together with all the blessings that the Torah brings. The Aufruf is a time to emphasize the honor of the Torah.
May you merit to build a house of Torah among the Jewish people.
Rabbi A. Page