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Rabbi's Erev Shabbat Message

05/28/2020 04:00:15 PM


Shabbat Shalom

​Shabbat  and Shavuot:  What is Jewish Revelation?

Justice, Learning, and Community embody our Torah’s Words



Shavuot 5780: Shavuot Torah celebration at Shir Tikvah takes many forms


The paradigm of the Jewish story is wandering. We who have struggled to maintain our sense of community, and sometimes sanity, through the last 70 days of pandemic shutdown have had a closer sense of relevance than usual to the ancient story. We ask their questions: what will it look like, our future? What is in store for us all? There is no certainty in tomorrow. There is only our need to walk together.


Along the path sometimes there comes revelation. There’s a mountaintop just ahead. This evening and tomorrow, through Shabbat, the Jewish people remembers a moment at Sinai that changed everything.


On Shavuot we celebrate the gift of Torah, but it is more than that. On Shavuot we experienced Giluy Shekhinah, the Revelation of the Presence of the Holy. We were given a path toward essence of Torah: that which guides us toward the meaning of its teachings of justice, of community, and of learning. This is the content of the Jewish understanding of revelation.


Living the Revelation, for us, is doing the mitzvot which bring us into the Presence of the Holy. In so doing we see revealed what is important about our lives, and what they can mean for us and for others with whom we share this world. 


On this Shavuot you are invited, as you are able, to share in mitzvot of justice, of community, and of learning - and of gratitude for community and the support it brings. How might you experience giluy Shekhinah, the revelation of what is holy? Perhaps one of these ways will help you on your path. 



This year, because of Zoom, we are able to invite all Jews (and those who love them) to join in a free Shavuot learning tonight, Thursday evening, beginning at 6pm. We’ll explore paths already familiar and beloved, and we’ll consider new grounding for this very ancient celebration of learning our place in the world, even, especially, now when it is so uncertain. Register here:



Whatever it was that we heard or saw at Sinai, we experienced the mystery together:


Said R. Abbahu in the name of R. Johanan:  When G-d gave the Torah no bird twittered, no fowl flew, no ox lowed, none of the angels stirred a wing, the serafim did not say "Holy, Holy", the sea did not roar, the creatures spoke not, the whole world was hushed into breathless silence and the voice went forth:  I am the Lord thy G-d." Exodus Rabbah, Yitro 29.9


On Friday morning at 9am, using our regular Shabbat zoom link, we will hear something very rare: the special Torah chant used only for the Aseret haDibrot, the Ten Utterances. Thanks in advance to our member Cantor Miriam Eskenazy for this special opportunity! Join us here:



Pastor and NAACP President E.D. Mondaine, who helped us learn and celebrate at our annual fundraising gathering, has organized a NAACP vigil at Schrunk Plaza Friday May 29 11.30am. Find details here to attend in person or to follow on facebook live: 


Yes, it is Shavuot day. Pastor Mondaine has asked for our support. To stand together with the African American community at this terrible time of grief and trauma for them is a powerful evocation of the meaning of Torah justice. We will not “stand idly by the blood of our neighbor.” Join us, in person or by linking to the Facebook livestream.

Then Shabbat will come; the Shabbat of Second Day Shavuot. Rachel Stern will lead us in Jewish movement into this special Shabbat so that our experience of Shavuot can be embodied, and not just mental focus, for our people’s shared path through slavery toward freedom is long, and requires all our integrated selfhood. 


And on this upcoming Shabbat of Shavuot we will engage in our regular Torah study and Shabbat/Festival prayers, and together meditate upon all the gifts our Jewish identity and engagement bring.


Hag sameakh and shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Ariel

This afternoon:
Jewish meditation and Yoga
4 weeks with Rachel Stern continuing tonight
(back by popular demand; you may remember her from Yom Kippur)
4pm by private Zoom link

Zoom into Shir Tikvah Torah Study

For those comfortable using electronics on Shabbat
in order to fulfill the mitzvot of study and gathering together
during this time of isolation
grab your own bagel and coffee and log in a little early.
Join from PC, Mac, Linus, IOS or Android;
just click on this link right here
or cut and paste it into your browser
Meeting Password: 604681

Shir Tikvah Shabbat Tefilah Gathering by Zoom

Tired of keeping track of all those Zoom links?
We’ve added a place in your membership section of our website for you to find them, all in once place. Once signed in, members can find most links at the Zoom Links tile on their member account main page.

Fri, May 29 2020 6 Sivan 5780