29 May Shavei Israel communities around the world to celebrate Shavuot
Tonight the Jewish world celebrates Shavuot, the holiday marking the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3,300 years ago. These days, it is customary to stay up all night learning Torah before going to the synagogue early in the morning to hear the Ten Commandments being read.
Shavei Israel communities around the world are getting in the spirit by planning their own late night Tikunei Leil Shavuot. Here’s a round-up of what’s planned.
The Beit Israel community in San Salvador will be extending its Shabbat tradition to the holiday. On just about every Shabbat, members of this Bnei Anousim community come from all over El Salvador to be together, sleeping over in each other’s homes or – mainly – at the synagogue itself. The recipe is perfect for all-night learning and early morning prayers.
In Colombia, the coastal communities of Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta and Valledapur plan to rent space in a hotel in order to celebrate Shavuot together.
In Israel, the Subbotnik Jewish community that resides in Beit Shemesh marked Shavuot with a pre-holiday get-together and meal. They were joined by Shavei Israel emissary to the community Rabbi Zelig Avrasin.
The students of Rabbi Elisha Salas, Shavei Israel’s emissary to Portugal, will be gathering at the Beit Ha’anusim in the village of Belmonte. There, they will eat together at a festive meal led by Rabbi Salas, before embarking on a late night tikun and the traditional Shavuot sunrise prayers.
Turning eastward in Europe, the Jewish communities in Palermo, Italy and Krakow, Poland will be – you guessed it – getting together for a meal, late night studies and early morning prayers.
Finally, Miriam and Rabbi Dawid Szychowska, Shavei Israel’s emissaries to Lodz, Poland, have organized a tikun on the subject of “Judaism, Science and Multicultural Discourse.” The late-night learning will include “religious leaders, scientists, thinkers and practitioners from Poland, Israel and the U.S.,” Miriam told us.
Panel discussions will take place all night. At 11:30 PM, the topic is “National remembrance of Jewish past in Poland.” At 1:00 AM, the subject is “The ‘others’ are us,” focusing on the Book of Ruth, which is traditionally read on Shavuot morning, and gives its main roles to people from different backgrounds “who meet, grow together, revive, and build trust and hope, by letting themselves to retest their own paradigms and leave for a personal unknown journey and future,” Miriam explained. “The participants of the panel will share their own journey and perspective.”
Inspired? Then open up a Torah and do some Jewish learning of your own this Shavuot. There are communities ready to welcome you wherever you are.
Cover photo for this article shows Subbotnik Jews in Beit Shemesh with Rabbi Avrasin.