Chanukah has latkes and dreidels, Pesach has charoset and raucous seders, Shavuot has cheesecake and… all night study sessions? Maybe not everyone’s idea of a good time, but for many communities, coming together and studying until daybreak is a much-anticipated event. Last year, we could not gather as a congregation, and certainly not all night in the same room, but we found a way to do something special despite that fact.
For those of you who were with us last year for Shavuot, the highlight of our quarantined observance was an online Tikkun Leil Shavuot. On Zoom, we joined colleagues, teachers, friends, and others with sessions on every topic imaginable. We studied late into the night (some of us later than others). We are happy to announce that we will be doing it again, and it’s bigger and better than before!
The Tikkun Leil Shavuot is a kabbalistic tradition that goes back to the 16th century where people would come to the synagogue to study late into the night on the evening of Shavuot. In the Torah, we needed to be awakened for the revelation at Sinai, so to show that we are worthy of receiving Torah, today we stay awake voluntarily studying.
From 7:00 pm Eastern Time to 9:00 am Pacific Time and through the night on May 16-17, small congregations from across the Reform movement will be able to study with one another from the comfort of their own homes. We have up to 4 different sessions each hour, and you can choose one or two or you can choose to go all night if you so desire. Each session is run by a rabbi or cantor at a fellow Reform congregation, so there are experts on many different topics. As we did last year, we asked them to teach whatever they want, so we have classes on movies, food, history, theology, you name it!
This program has been one of the huge positive changes that the pandemic has brought into our lives, so come see for yourself how wonderful it is to study across congregations while in your PJs.
Stay tuned for more information!
Rabbi Sara Zober