Study Your Options for Shavuot Study

Study Your Options for Shavuot Study

Among the traditional pleasures of Shavuot, which starts when Shabbat ends Saturday night, May 23, and ends when night settles in Monday, May 25, are eating cheesecake and other dairy delights and staying up all night to study. The following are some of the options for studying through Atlanta-area synagogues. Everything is free unless otherwise noted.

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim's "Shavuot (Pentecost)" (Das Wochen- oder Pfingst-Fest) from 1879
Moritz Daniel Oppenheim’s “Shavuot (Pentecost)” (Das Wochen- oder Pfingst-Fest) from 1879

Congregation Beth Jacob: All-night Torah study, featuring scholar in residence Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg, starts at midnight and runs until dancing at dawn at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, with refreshments available all night in Heritage Hall. Learning sessions begin again at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and 6 p.m. Monday.

New Toco Shul: Rabbi Michael Broyde gets an early start on the learning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday by addressing the question of when Shavuot starts. All-night learning starts at midnight along multiple tracks. On Track 1, Rabbi Shlomo Pill leads in-depth study on “Ashkenaz and Sefard: Different Approaches to Limud Torah and Halacha.” Track 2 offers five hour-long sessions —  Rabbi Eric Levy on “Thoughts on the Meaning of Kedusha, Inspired by a Friday Night Drasha by Rav Aharon Lichtenstein” at midnight, Rabbi Michael Berger on “Rav Aharon Lichtenstein on the Relationship of Holidays and Their Mitzvot” at 1:15, Rabbi Broyde on “Abortion in Halacha & in the Thought of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein” at 2:30, Rabbi Jake Czuper on “How to Celebrate Shavuot in Space” at 3:45 and Rabbi Chaim Lindenblatt on “The Oneness of God: Prevalent Misconceptions” at 5. Rabbi Yehuda Boroosan leads the traditional Tikkun Leil Shavuot study of excerpts from the Tanach, Mishnah and halachah all night. Rabbi Broyde teaches Ketuvot 111 at 5 a.m.

Young Israel of Toco Hills: Yeshiva University’s Ari Mermelstein serves as the scholar in residence, starting with a shiur after a dairy dinner at 9:30 Saturday night (dinner is $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers). Tables throughout the shul offer chavruta learning all night. One-hour learning sessions start at 11:15 p.m. with Mermelstein on “Was the Greek Translation of the Torah a Good Thing? It Depends Whom You Ask,” followed by Rabbi Reuven Travis on “Ten Commandments or Ten Utterances? Why We Must Be Wary of Relying on Translations” at 12:30 a.m., Rabbi Jake Czuper on “How to Celebrate Shavuot in Space” at 1:30, Rabbi Asher Yablok on “Field of Dreams: The Use of Prophecy and Dreams to Answer Life’s Questions” at 2:30, Rabbi Eric Levy on “The Satan in Tanach and in Rabbinic Literature” at 3:30, and Rabbi Adam Starr on “Bruster’s on Shavuot? A Halachic Case Study of Ma’arit Ayin and Yom Tov Transactions” at 4:30. Mermelstein discusses the divine drama in the Book of Ruth after Sunday morning services. Young Israel holds an ice cream party at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Bruster’s in Toco Hills and celebrates synagogue award winners and the completion of the Torah at 5 p.m. Monday.

Congregation Ariel: All-night study features five rabbis on why they believe — Rabbi Daniel Freitag on “Quantum Mechnanics, AI and the Search for G-d” at midnight, Rabbi Netanel Friedman on “G-d as Seen in My Daily Life” at 1:15, Rabbi Mordechai Pollock on “The Nobility of Man” at 2:30, Rabbi Michoel Friedman on “The Exquisite Beauty of the Language of the Torah” at 3:45, and Rabbi Binyomin Friedman on “The Rabbis and Their Fabulous Fences” at 4:45.

The Kehilla: An all-night learning extravaganza starts with dinner at 10 p.m.

Congregation B’nai Torah: “All’s Fair in Love and War” is the theme of Erev Shavuot study, led by three female teachers. After fruit and cheesecake at 8 p.m. Saturday, Rabbi Jessica Shaffrin leads “Warring With Human Nature” at 8:15. Rabbi Judith Beiner leaders “Women Warriors: Devorah, Yael and Yehudit” at 9:30. After the ice cream bar opens at 10:30, Lynne Heller closes the program with “The Battle of the Sexes Redefined: Leviticus vs. Song of Songs” at 10:45.

Congregation Beth Shalom: All-night study, organized by Rabbi Lou Feldstein, starts at 8:15 p.m. at the home of Rabbi Mark and Linda Zimmerman, 5195 Marston Road, Dunwoody. Each session lasts 30 minutes.

Congregation Etz Chaim: Tikkun Leil Shavuot runs from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday. After Havdalah, study sessions are led by Rabbi Shalom Lewis, Miriam Rosenbaum and a member of the Weber School Moot Beit Din team.

Congregation Gesher L’Torah: Campfire Torah combines study, stories, s’mores and sleeping bags under the stars outside the synagogue, starting at 8:30 p.m.

Congregation Beth Tefillah: The late-night learn-a-thon begins at 11:30 p.m. Saturday with a series of talks every 10 minutes — Rabbi Isser New on “Carrying a Gun on Shabbos for Protection” at 11:30, Jeff Goldstein on “Charity, the Gift That Keeps Giving” at 11:40, Dr. Ann Stark on “Intersex Babies: Ethical and Jewish Issues” at 11:50, Sam Silver on “Bris: Debunking the Controversy” at midnight, Anita Stein on “Demystifying the Tahara Process and Chevra Kadisha” at 12:20, IDF Maj. Nitzan Tzubery on “Israel Through the Eyes of an IDF Major” at 12:30, Ian Ratner on “My Ethical and Torah Dilemmas in Business” at 12:40, and Rabbi Sender Lustig on “The Sandy Springs Eruv, What It Actually Looks Like” at 12:50. More traditional study starts at 1:30 and runs until morning. Separate teen sessions also start at 11:30.

Chabad Intown: All-night learning, combining lectures, group study and one-on-one sessions, starts at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Chabad of Cobb: All-night Torah study begins at 10:30 p.m. Saturday with a session on the ethics of privacy — “Are Drones Kosher?” — and continues with “Wacky and Weird Jewish Facts: Exploring the Myths and Mysteries of Judaism” at 11:30. Beginning at 12:30 a.m., study until you drop, with coffee and light refreshments to fortify you.

Temple Sinai: Brunch and learn for Shavuot at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Temple Beth Tikvah: Rabbi Fred Greene leads a Shavuot discussion at 8 p.m. Saturday on how the Book of Ruth can help us focus on the importance of living in the community, the power of small acts of kindness in building trust, and the necessity of imagining a different future. Plus, there’s cheesecake.

Temple Kehillat Chaim: Torah study begins at 7 p.m. Saturday and concludes with Havdalah.

Ahavath Achim Synagogue: AA is playing host to a program organized with Congregation Bet Haverim and Limmud Atlanta+Southeast that starts at 8 p.m. Saturday with Mincha and ends at 5:15 a.m. The cost is $10, and registration before Shabbat is required. Classes start at 10 p.m. with Rabbi Neil Sandler on “Bilaam and How He Used His Powers,” Irene Celtzer on “Parenting in a Society Obsessed With Body Image and Food,” and Barbara Nathan on “Sephardi Cheesecake Cooking,” as well as a Kirtan concert with Bonnie Puckett and Michael Levine. The options at 11 p.m. are Rebecca Stapel-Wax on “If Not Now, When? How to Be a Better Ally in Our Community” and Steve Chervin on “50 Shades of Midrash: A Bride for One Night.” Midnight brings Paul Feldman on “What Is the Sefer HaBrit?” Mike Masarek on “Confessions of a Reluctant Tzadik: The Life and Wisdom of Hasidic Master Shneur Zalman,” Brooke Rosenthal on the Metro Atlanta Community Mikvah, a “fascinating session” with Rabbi Josh Lesser, and Helene and Michael Kates performing in a session called “All Voice: Raising Earth up to Heaven.” After a break, the learning resumes at 1:30 a.m. with Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal on “The Book of Ruth: A Story About In-Laws or About Us … You Decide,” Chaim Listfield on “The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Levi Itzchak of Berdichev,” and Linda Lippitt on “Abigail, One of the Seven Prophetesses of Israel.” Rabbi Rosenthal returns at 2:30 with “Praying to a G-d That I Don’t Believe In 2.0: The Update to Last Year’s Theology Exploration,” while Craig Tovey leads “Rebecca, Courageous Mother of Jacob and Esau.” The sessions at 3:30 are Rabbi Rosenthal’s “Hinani: Hearing the Call Answering G-d’s Voice — A Social Justice Text Study” and Andy Zangwill’s “The Prophet Hosea: Marriage as a Metphor.” Lippitt and Tovey then lead stretching and tai chi at 4:45, and Shacharit prayers are at 5:15.

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