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From the Rabbi - June 6, 2024

Rabbi Chaitovsky

One of the interesting things about Shavuot is that there are virtually no specific “laws” connected to the festival. In the Shulchan Arukh, a scant three paragraphs are devoted to holiday. It begins by telling us that on Shavuot, the services are just like Pesach, except we say “the Time of the Giving of Torah” instead of the “the Time of our Freedom.” Even when it lists the customs associated with the day, there is no mention of either reading the book of Ruth or, believe it or not, staying up all night to learn Torah!

In our own day, it seems unimaginable that Shavuot would not be marked by the all night Torah study known as Tikkun Leil Shavuot. The word tikkun means a fixing or a correction. In one theory about the origin of the custom, the Israelites actually woke up late on Shavuot morning an almost missed getting the Torah. This led, many years later, to a practice that would symbolically correct and fix that first mistake of oversleeping, the Tikkun Leil Shavuot, which has become ubiquitous in almost every Jewish community.

Our synagogue is offering it’s own version of a Tikkun Leil Shavuot on Tuesday night, June 11 starting with music, prayer, a delicious dairy dinner and Torah study featuring Essie Fleischmann along with Cantor Marty, special guest Caleb Gitlitz, and yours truly. The chance to learn Torah continues the next day at my home, from 4:45 to 6:30, with ice cream, cheese cake, fruit and plenty to drink and special presentation by Sue Parker Gerson based on her experience studying Daf Yomi, which will explore how the Talmud transformed Shavuot into the holiday we now know and love. Your are all invited and I look forward to welcoming you to my home.

See below for the full Shavuot schedule.

Shabbat shalom…chag sameach…and of course, I’ll see you in shul!

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784