Tonight is EREV SHAVUOT (Shavuot Night). The high Jewish holiday is starting in Jerusalem at 7.03 pm and ends tomorrow night at 8.21 pm. Diaspora Jews may have a second day and for them, Shavuot only ends on Thursday night.
My washing machine is running and after finishing my morning coffee, I will start cleaning my apartment. I admit that I haven’t really written too much lately, as I was not in my “online mood”. After coming home from work, I preferred sitting outside on my balcony and reading a book. 🙂 Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, something chassidic on tonight’s Chag (holiday) and Rashi’s biography. Books I will write about a later.
Furthermore, I am planning on making a lasagna for Shavuot because eating dairy foods is an old Shavuot tradition. Yoghurt, cheese cake, lasagna, or all kinds of cheese casseroles.
Another tradition is to learn the whole night through until tomorrow morning. This is called TIKKUN LEIL SHAVUOT. It is considered to be a rectification for your soul. In Jerusalem there are hundreds of places where Jews can learn tonight. There will be Shiurim (religious lectures) all over town and what people love to do is “Shiur Shopping”. Listen to a lecture here and try out a different place. 🙂
I think that famous Avivah Gottlieb – Zornberg is lecturing at the Beit Avichai tonight. I would love to go if I were sure that they don’t squeeze her into a tiny room. A few years ago I went and more than a hundred people were sit on top of each other listening to Avivah talking about Ruth. We all thought that Avivah would faint any minutes, as there was no fresh air.
Another possibility and very close to where I live is the Zalman Shazar Center with interesting lectures on a more academic level. When you are planning to go and learn somewhere, make sure that the Shiur will be in English. Just in case your Hebrew isn’t that good. 🙂
A further Shavuot tradition is going to the Kotel (Western Wall) for Shacharit (morning prayer) at around 4 or 5 o’clock tomorrow morning. This is a great experience and a special atmosphere seeing so many Jews together and watching the sunrise above the Temple Mount. I have no idea whether I will make it, as I mostly fall asleep at 2am or so. 🙂
In previous years, I wrote quite a few articles about Shavuot. Especially about the Book of Ruth (Megillat Ruth) which we read in the synagogues tomorrow:
There are further articles on my old Shearim blog:
So, what else is new in Jerusalem:
Not much. Trump is gone and lots of businesses complain that they hardly earned anything for two days, as they were forced to close due to security reasons. Two examples: The butcher where I buy my meat at the Machane Yehudah Market. He told me last week that the market was empty because people preferred to stay at home. Various streets were closed and it was a disaster getting anywhere.
The second example is my hairdresser near Derech Hebron Street where Trump’s helicopter landed. The guy told me that he wasn’t allowed to open his shop and thus lost his profits. Of course, no one is going to compensate all those businesses.
Well, summer has begun and, yes, there are still lots of demonstrations going on in Mea Shearim. Mainly against the army draft.
The Arabs are having Ramadan and every single night after they finished eating, they scream through my neighbourhood. So, basically nothing is really new.