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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do you? Or don't you?

My question is simple, or maybe not so simple.

Do you learn all Shavuot night or not?

There's a tradition to learn all night,
  • but not every location has shiurim (classes) to attend
  • but some people need to sleep
  • and some of us uncontrollably doze off if we sit still, after a certain hour
  • is this considered a "women's tradition?"
  • or is it really a "requirement," mitzvah?

In Shiloh, for quite a long time, there have been a number of "all night" or "most of the night" learning options for men, women, children and English speakers. That's not including the shiurim and open Beit Medrash in the local Hesder Yeshiva.

We've been hosting some for well over 15 years. It started the year after our elder son was seriously injured when a small truck hit him, while he was riding his bicycle. I'm convinced that his miraculous recovery is due to the fact that he had insisted on going to his classes' Shavuot Shiurim just a few weeks before, even though he had seriously sprained his ankle. We had to carry him; he couldn't walk.

The following year, to thank G-d, we hosted his class's shiur. After that there always was some shiur in our home on Shavuot. The year my mother-in-law passed away, we hosted a slew of English language shiurim, so my father-in-law would have something to attend. That included a shiur or two Shavuot afternoon.

Since then, we've made it our tradition to host a Shavuot Shiur in English, which our next door neighbor, HaRav Dov Berkovits, gives. For many of the English speakers, who aren't getting any younger, it's much easier to stay awake and alert in the afternoon.

A few years ago, some neighbors started putting together all-night learning in English. Our local Chief Rabbi Elchanan Bin Nun even began giving a shiur in English. For those who don't understand Hebrew, it's a real treat, and many of us who can understand both languages show up to support his efforts to serve the English-speaking Shiloh population. Yes, there are quite a few English speakers here in Shiloh, probably more than one would expect.

That's it for now.

I have lots to do today, even though not much cooking. We were invited to eat at neighbors tonight.

Chag Sameach!


tnspr569 said...

I try to stay up, but I can't always do it.

It just seems slightly counter-intuititve when I notice many people sleeping during daavening the next day.

Oh well. Chag sameach!

Batya said...

and/or sleeping through the shiurim