Neither Sleeps nor Slumbers

NOAM Brazil’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

NOAM Brazil’s Judaism group under the leadership of Gabriel Neistein held a Tikkun Leil Shavuot event for Chanichim ages 13 and over on Saturday night, the first night of Shavuot. They began by saying Havdalah to separate between Shabbat and Chag and afterwards brought everyone into a room where they were to present on one of ten topics which they selected ahead of time. Topics discusses included Zionism, Masorti Judaism, and Tikkun Olam, with particular emphasis placed on Jewish ideology. They discussed these topics for an hour, and also had other subjects including the war in Syria, which they discussed from the narrative of a refugee and the about an abandoned high-rise tower in Sao Paolo which had burned down two weeks earlier, leaving the hundreds of homeless people who squatted there with nowhere to live.

Other topics discussed were Echad HaAm and spirit of Zionism which led into a discussion about and what we think about Zionism and Israel, albeit more as a cultural and spiritual center than a political discussion.

Following the study session, each of the three madrichim took a group to a room where they held concurrent shiurim about Judaism. The lecture on the “Meaning and Power of the Word in Jewish Literature and Texts” focused on a tale by Isaac Bashevis Singer, while Gabriel’s lecture focused on the process between destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the development of the community as we know it based around the synagogue and community system that has survived until this day. The last lecture focused on the wisdom of King Solomon.

Gabriel highly recommends this as a NOAM activity because it is something that any NOAM group can prepare and use on Shavuot, or even at other times in the year. It took about a week to prepare the content, and has the advantage of the Chanichim being able to share their knowledge, and the madrichim are able to listen to them teaching as well.