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Sandra Bernhard Discusses Shavuot

Getting ready for Dawn 2010

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Sandra Bernhard, the comedian and author, will be the featured guest at Dawn 2010, the Tablet-sponsored late-night cultural arts festival going down in honor of Shavuot tomorrow evening in San Francisco.

Bernhard took the time to talk Shavuot with Senior Editor Sara Ivry about her engagement with Shavuot. She’s a longtime fan!

Here she reminisces on her favorite Shavuot ever: In Tel Aviv.

And here she explains how Shavuot is somewhat misunderstood in the United States.

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I love Sandra, spirituality is missing in Judaism today especially in the non-orthodox communities. Maybe there is a fear of overt spirituality among the secular leaning people. I know I miss it sometimes.

I met Sandra in London on the day before Shavuot just after a gig. We miss her wit here and shame she can’t put her talk online for us all to hear if we’re unlucky enough not to be there.But i do think it is the bare facts and not necessarily the ‘mystical’ or ‘spiritual’ aspects that make it special. they are probaly unknow or passed over and so the holiday gets less ‘airtime’ vs the other big ones like Passover Succot. That’s because these facts about shavuot are either not mentioned or not known.For instance the eating of cheese cake.It’s not just down to the Rabbis or custom but there are over 8 reasons in the torah itself that specifically command the eating of it.Now, not many dietary ‘customs’ (e.g. fish head on the table etc. can command that much significance.Perhaps if the we were all more aware of these then perceptions might change. Best Charlie Salem

Jennifer Balick says:

I find this a delightful irony in that one of Sandra’s funniest lines (which I have been quoting for for 30 years) is “Do you wanna be waiting here till next Shavuos?” from her brilliant role in the movie “The King of Comedy.”


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Sandra Bernhard Discusses Shavuot

Getting ready for Dawn 2010

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