On Shavuot we celebrate the revelation of Torah at Sinai, from the grandeur of that Sinai moment to the impact that Torah has in our lives each day. One of the Shalosh regalim, three pilgrimage festivals, Shavuot was a time when all of ancient Israel would travel to the Temple to worship and be in community. It is traditional to study throughout the night on Shavuot. In that spirit, arrive early before service to study and help to create our collaborative and creative congregational Shavuot experience.
6:00pm - Optional light dinner (Registration required)
6:30pm - Study and create our Shavuot Service - Choose 1 of 4 workshops listed below (Registration required)
1) Yizkor & Shavuot: Writing and Witnessing with our Hearts
Join Ellen Reich for an hour of writing and sharing, using the supportive AWA* Method, to honor our loved ones and to support the longing in our hearts. Whether you are grieving a recent loss or are touched by long-ago or ambiguous grief, Ellen will guide the group through a creative process to affirm the power and wisdom of your experience. We will have the opportunity to select brief sections of our newly created writing to share within the service immediately following this session.
*The Amherst Writers & Artists Method combines ways of writing and of listening. No specific skills or knowledge are required to attend.
2) Inclining towards Judaism: Artistic Representation of the Book of Ruth
Join Rabbi Nichols in an artistic exploration of the themes of the Book of Ruth. The Book of Ruth relates both to Shavuot’s agricultural and spiritual foundations. Ruth’s statement of faith to her mother-in-law Naomi has inspired many people who converted to Judaism. But in fact, Ruth’s words can speak to each of us who chooses over and over again to engage with our Judaism. Join us to explore Ruth’s journey and experiment with ways to depict it using a variety of artistic media. (Outside, weather permitting)
3) A Principled Life: The Role of the 10 Commandments in our Modern Lives (Torah Study)
On the holiday of Shavuot we commemorate matan torah, the giving of Torah at Mt. Sinai, and read aloud the 10 commandments – central principles that guide our lives as Jews. The notion of creating and implementing 10 commandments as a code of conduct has been adapted by a variety of contemporary figures and organizations – from the musical Hamilton, to the mafia, to the business world and beyond. Why has this framework resonated throughout history? Join Rabbi Erdheim for a text study analyzing the structure of the 10 commandments and how we can apply them to our modern lives. We will utilize our study and discussion to create a collaborative d’var torah to be delivered during our service.
4) Singing for Sinai: Shavuot Vocal Musical Ensemble
Join Cantor Thomas and Patty Torcellini to prepare the vocal music for the service. Participants will polish familiar melodies, learn some new ones, and prepare to lead services with the clergy and other participants. (Blumenthal Sanctuary)
7:30pm - Shavuot Evening Service with Yizkor *Followed by oneg
***Please note, we will incorporate Yizkor into this evening experience. There will be no Festival Morning Service and this evening will be our sole congregational opportunity for Yizkor.