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All Night Long: Preparing for Shavuot’s Study Sessions

We asked four people we admire—a novelist, a musician, a rabbi, and a theologian—what they’d like to read in the wee hours

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The holiday of Shavuot brings with it unique forms of observance. In addition to the consumption of dairy-rich delicacies, many people participate in a tikkun layl Shavuot, an all-night study session. During a tikkun, it’s traditional to peruse and discuss a portion from the Bible, the Talmud, or the Mishneh. To mark Shavuot this year, Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry asked novelist Nathan Englander, musician Alicia Jo Rabins, Rabbi Phil Lieberman, and theologian Avivah Zornberg what text they’d most like to think about in the early-morning hours, and what makes those hours particularly well-suited to explorations of the mind and spirit. [Running time: 11:40] 

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Matt Zvi says:

I’d love to see a study group that was focusing on some really excellent contemporary Jewish fiction, maybe something by Dara Horn or Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter by Peter Manseau. Both deal with a lot of heady, debatable issues in Jewish life, and it would really serve to freshen things up!

Sara,
You’re awesome! I’m so glad you’re interested in the people/subjects I’m interested in! You make me feel hip! Chag Sameach and thanks for giving me extra motivation to enter into to dark, mysterious, rich and wonderful world of all night Shavuot learning!

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All Night Long: Preparing for Shavuot’s Study Sessions

We asked four people we admire—a novelist, a musician, a rabbi, and a theologian—what they’d like to read in the wee hours

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