Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Community Erev Shavu'ot service


Compared to the week-long Festivals of Sukkot and Passover, and the grandeur or Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Shavu’ot can easily get overlooked. But, not only is it one of the Three Pilgrimage Festivals set down in the Torah (although with Sukkot and Passover), Jewish tradition understands it to be the anniversary of matan Torah, the giving of the gift of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

With those impressive credentials, Shavu’ot is the ideal time for Jews to gather as a community, just as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. In addition to celebrating the spring harvest in the land of Israel, Shavu’ot is a time to reaffirm the teachings of the Torah through study sessions.

“There’s a long-standing tradition of Tikkun Leil Shavu’ot,” said Rabbi David Kay of Congregation Ohev Shalom, which is playing host to this year’s Community Erev Shavu’ot Service, on the night of Saturday, May 19. “People stay up all night, learning and discussing traditional Jewish texts.”

The Community Erev Shavu’ot Service was launched last year by Rabbi Joshua Neely, and hosted by his congregation, Temple Israel. Although not an all-night affair, last year’s program included challenging study on ethical issues.

This year, several knowledgeable lay leaders will teach 15- to 20-minute “round robin” sessions on engaging topics of Jewish interest. The schedule will allow for people to learn from three or four different teachers in the course of the evening.

The program begins with services, called for 8:45 p.m., followed by the learning sessions, and concluding with a cheesecake bar. For more information or to RSVP, see the Ohev Shalom website (https://OhevShalom.org), call the synagogue at 407-298-4650, or email Office@OhevShalom.org.


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