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"Expressing the Inexpressible": Community Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Tuesday, June 11, 2024 5 Sivan 5784

5:30 PM - 5:00 AM Next DayCongregation Kol Emeth, 4175 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto (some study sessions will be livestreamed)

Programs for All Ages: Celebrate the Holiday of Shavuot with Torah and Community
Come for an hour or stay all night! 
Tuesday, June 11, 5:30 PM (children's programming) & 7:00 PM (adult programming) to Wednesday, June 12, 5:00 AM

Join the local community for prayer, study and schmoozing until sunrise (or at least until your bedtime). The Tikkun Leil Shavuot ("repair of the night of Shavuot") is a Kabbalistic practice that began in the Middle Ages. According to legend, the Israelites overslept the morning they were to receive the Torah at Mt. Sinai, and Moses had to hurriedly wake them up! To avoid making that mistake again, we stay up all night on Erev Shavuot, studying and preparing to celebrate the giving of the Torah the next morning.

The opening session for the evening is entitled "Expressing the Inexpressible," during which local rabbis will lead us in an exploration of Israeli poetry and song since October 7. (Fuller description below.) Following that, we will turn to song and prayer to usher in the holiday all as one community. There will then be time for refreshments and schmoozing. Concurrent classes will begin at 10:00 PM, continuing throughout the night (new classes each hour) until 5:00 AM. There will also be programming for tot families and K-7th graders. See below for an outline of the evening.



  • Zoom links are not included in the schedule linked above. To receive a program schedule that includes Zoom links, please request it here. (Note: only a portion of the programming will be available via Zoom.)


  • 5:30-7:00 PM: Celebration for families with kids 0-5
    Families with babies and toddlers (age 0-TK) are invited to a Shavuot pizza and ice cream party, with music, movement and stories. 
  • 7:00-10:00 PM: Shavuot games and learning for K-7th graders
    K-7th graders are invited to explore the themes of Shavuot through games, stories, crafts, music and more. Plus make Mt. Sinai ice cream sundaes!  

Depending on location, study sessions will be held indoors, outdoors and via livestream.

  • 7:00 PM: Opening Session — Expressing the Inexpressible
    Since 10/7, finding the words to express who we are and how we are experiencing each moment has become nearly impossible. There is a plethora of anger and a lack of compassion. We find ourselves talking, but don't know if anyone is listening. Poetry and song has always been a means of articulating meaning even in the face of emptiness. Join Rabbi David Booth and Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky as they explore poetry and song from Israel, endeavoring to give form to what we are feeling. Perhaps the words and their beauty can heal and strengthen us towards more meaningful speech.
  • 8:10 PM: Community Singing and Candle Lighting
  • 8:40 PM: Shavuot evening unity service
  • 9:30 PM: Kiddush and Snacks in Courtyard
  • 10:00 and 11:00 PM: Multiple Study Sessions (50 minutes)
  • 12:00-12:30 AM: Shorter Study Sessions and Torah Relay
  • 12:30 AM: Blintzes Served
  • 1:00-5:00 AM: More Study Sessions (50 minutes each)
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Tue, July 23 2024 17 Tammuz 5784