Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Tikkun Leil Shavuot

"I prefer your Torah to thousands of gold and silver pieces" (Psalm 119)

"I have invested my very essence in writing" [The Torah] (Shabbat 105a)

Hi All,

David has asked us to post on themes related to Shavout, which starts next week. One thing I want to comment on is Tikkun Leil Shavuot, that is the tradition of staying up all night to study the Torah.  To some this can seem like a strange tradition, especially as it goes back no further than the 16th century. But as with any tradition, if applied in a certain spirit it can be a wonderful experience. One year I tried- and failed- to read through the whole Torah during the night. I think I learnt a lesson there, namely, that quality study is better than quantity study. I also think that it is, like, so easy to become ensnared in mindless ritual and that is not what G-d wants of us. If reading through the whole Torah floats your boat, so be it, but it wasn't for me. 

In our house, after we have had our festive meal on Tuesday night, we indeed to do Torah study. There will the rest of us who live here and 2 other guests, so 7 in total. . All of us are going to write out and talk about a particular word of Torah; be it a passage, a reflection on a Bible character or a  particular theme. As we have 2 non Jewish (neither have any religious affiliation, but like living in a Jewish household & our festivities) housemates and those of us who are Jews come from different traditions, it should be an enlightening experience. On the second day we've agreed is that we are going to discuss/study the Ten Commandments and the book of Ruth, which are traditional readings for this festival.

I love Torah; her divinity, her soul, her meaning and her message, which draws us close to G-d, helps us in life, guides our ethics, makes us ,questions us and gives us so much more. I struggle with some of it, clearly, but I don't think I could abandon it. I wish to grow and learn more Torah as the years go by. The passages I have chosen to present on Genesis chapters 1 & 2, along with Psalm 23. I hope to put these reflections up next week.

I'll leave you all with questions for thought : 

  • To help me think these through, does anyone have any particular key idea on them?
  • What will others be doing, study wise during this festival?
  • Is it right to always follow tradition for its own sake?
  • If you are not Jewish, how do  study you own holy scripture? 
  • Is it communal or individual? And where and when do you do so?

56 comments:

  1. Love the way you refer to Torah as 'she'; that'll upset a few people!! I'll think about this, but as I'm going to be there on Tuesday. Hmmm, I do actually have to think what I'm going to present on as well...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hannah's flatmate28 May 2014 at 13:05

    Yeah, but one of your housemates is undergoing conversion; not looking forward to the snip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Auntie Hannah,

    You're a real inspiration to me, so don't go around bashing yourself like.

    To help me think these through, does anyone have any particular key idea on them?
    -Isn't the theme G-d in those verses ?

    What will others be doing, study wise during this festival?
    - going to a friend's house to study with the student JSoc

    Is it right to always follow tradition for its own sake?
    -no I don't think so, but most of the traditions are fab anyway

    Can't answer any of the last 2 .


    Nat

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Auntie Rach,


    But I can't see the problem with this as a metaphor, I quite like it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hannah,

    Thanks for the flow of thoughts here. I agree that quality of study is better than quantity. My thoughts -

    To help me think these through, does anyone have any particular key idea on them?


    -Creation, G-d & humanity. In respect of Psalm 23, it is interesting how Christianity has took this one over. How do we take back these christianized themes to Judaism (& should we)?

    What will others be doing, study wise during this festival?

    -I don't think I'll be up all night studying as we've got young children as well as teenagers. I want to do something, without this disrupting routines and or preventing Mrs K from studying too. Any ideas anyone?

    Is it right to always follow tradition for its own sake?

    -no, slavish adherence to tradition without understanding why, or questioning, is worth nothing to you or G-d. Alas some people beg to differ and get wrapped into tradition, so that becomes to them the ONLY acceptable face of Judaism.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Don't worry. I'm told that sex is better with a circumcised cock than a non circumcised one! So it'll be good long term. That and being a Jew is fantastic anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Never thought about that before. I like the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Agreed bro. In respect of studying, I've got the same problem. What about having an hour's study with the family over dinner and then another hour after they've gone to bed with the older ones and Mrs K?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Look forward to those reflections. You've already had a few good advises put to you, so I'll just say, make it to the point, entertaining and thought provoking.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Hannah,


    I'm looking forward to making cheesecake with you and learning how to make the Sephardi food you eat during Shavout. Can't recall what it is called now?

    ReplyDelete
  11. We'll be studying with the kids over dinner and then together as a couple after they've gone to bed. Have a good one sis!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Atheist Shrugged28 May 2014 at 14:20

    The Bible is a Bronze age book which approves of rape, slavery, and human sacrifice.

    No cherry picking now.

    In total the Bible mentions gays 7 times . Christ never mentioned them at all and St Paul was a made up conglomeration of several figures.

    He claimed "authority" from "revelation".

    http://www.jesusneverexisted.c...

    "The entire pre-Christian "Saul, the scourge of the church" makes no sense at all as history – but does make a great deal of sense as theology. "Zealous Jew sees the light of Jesus, becomes Christian." The theological purpose is as obvious as the historical vignette is bogus."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Typical lesbians. Are you the butch one?

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a disgusting comment to make out of a perfectly kind and innocent remark from one loving person to another. Shame on you !

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was wondering about this on the other thread (:

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, I look forward to the feedback and this series.Alas, I'll be away for the festival, but I'll try and read through Ruth.

    ReplyDelete
  17. That's totally out of order!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Hannah,


    'if you are not Jewish, how do study you own holy scripture?' -


    At Church, at bible study (group) and at home on my own. Also read the bible in the bath and on the bus! (:

    ReplyDelete
  19. How stupid of you.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Sophie


    Thanks for that. Can't really think about reading Torah in the bath or on the bus!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi GR


    Enjoy it the best way U can!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi Nat,


    Thanks for the feedback. It's great to hear from you. Not sure why I 'm so inspirational, just trying to be a good aunt to you! (:

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi David,


    Thanks for the feedback. Much to think about from yourself as well.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks David.


    Funny thing is neither me or Sarah are 'butch' at all, but whatever floats some people's stereotype boat.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Sarah

    Khai (Jewish iraqi) and siete cielos (a seven layered cake of Moroccan Jewish origin) xxx :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Yeah, too right, you're both attractive 'feminine' women, who are like so right together.

    ReplyDelete
  27. http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTMNqi6PHa3BpsuRLM9V4KcPkUlUqwFxUMnI3jqTcMl4rq0slrh

    ReplyDelete
  28. No problem Hannah. Neither you nor Sarah deserve such remarks .

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Sam

    Thanks for saying that! (:

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi All,

    Alas someone (Hi David!), managed to delete some posts, so I'm reposting one here: Doctor Who is back in August !!

    Yeah!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYN6ruU672Y

    ReplyDelete
  31. Funny thing every religion 'cherry picks' what to emphasize so that's not going to get you very far is it ? Besides which, with all due respect, I'm not a Christian, so don't have Christian interpretations of holy scripture. In short, you are wasting your time.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Hannah,


    Thanks for reminding me ! Can't wait :)!!xxx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi David,


    Thanks for being so kind and welcoming to me (: x

    ReplyDelete
  34. Thanks Sam,
    I hope you find a great girlfriend too!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yes! Can't wait. Will miss Matt Smith, though.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Well, here is the one I tried to post earlier on.

    For my teacher friends , who lovingly describe the Education Secretary, as "Gove", here is where he gets bitch slapped by Tom Watson in the Commons. Enjoy! -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIM1pVwsAHI

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey Sarah,


    Well you've made our Hannah really happy, so we're all happy about that. And you are a cute couple, if you don't mind me saying. As for me, yeah, the dude would like a girlfriend, but being on the rebound, I guess I'm being extremely cautious there.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hey, Hannah,


    What are big bros for, other than to protect their siblings & friends ??!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yep, can't wait for it either. Will have to watch it on the BBC Player, though, as it will come on during Shabbat!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yeah, let's recap his final moments -

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x193bht_doctor-who-the-11th-doctor-s-regeneration_creation

    ReplyDelete
  41. Yeah, let's recap his final moments -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BehwuPQm16A

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hannah/Sam.


    Yes, sorry about that. I don't know what happened with them.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Sarah,
    Oh that's OK. To be totally honest, I do struggle with gaydom, especially verses Judaism,however, you are both wanting to be part of the Jewish faith and are adults, who are capable of making decisions. I thought we'd lost Hannah's spark for a while, but you've helped to bring it back. I can see you are a kind/loving person who loves my sister a lot. That's what matters at the end of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Can't wait for the new set of episodes either. It got a little crap with plot lines so complex, you needed a degree from Cambridge to understand.but managed to turn itself around. Hopefully the better stories will continue.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Heh, even better was watching Gove grovel.

    ReplyDelete
  46. If it helps, I've put up another thread, so this one doesn't get too off topic! :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sarah,
    I, my husband and children, can't wait to see you both next week. I've heard nothing but good things about you!

    ReplyDelete
  48. David,
    I agree with you, when you've got children it is a different ball game. But I'm thinking, quality not quantity. As Hannah said above.

    ReplyDelete
  49. No worries David, it happens sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
  50. We can't wait to see you guys as well!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Matt Smith was hot!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Jenna Lou Coleman is hotter !!!

    ReplyDelete
  53. HI Rachel,


    Yes, but Torah is feminine in Hebrew! (:

    ReplyDelete

Comments aren't pre-moderated. Try and keep things civil. See our comments section for further details.