Compiled by Nathalia Schomerus & Naomi Guembel

Shavuot - Seeing the voices

This year’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot is centred around the theme of “רֹאִ֨ים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹ֜ת - seeing the voices”. We encounter this expression in the Torah in the context of the Israelites receiving the Torah and being overwhelmed by the experience, and this year we would like to shed light on the variety of voices - the beauty, the complexity, and the tensions. How do we make sure every individual voice is being seen? How do we deal with our own feelings of overwhelmingness? What do we do when we can’t see our own voice anymore?

What does it mean that we were a traumatised people at Mt. Sinai, after centuries of being enslaved? What does Mental Health Awareness in the Jewish community look like today? How do we deal with borderline experiences in our own lives?

How do we see minorities within the Jewish minority? Queer Jews? What does being a family look like today? What about interfaith couples, what about the unfulfilled wish to have children, what about abortion, what about conversion? And why are we having such a tough time talking about all of this?

Shavout 5780

a study of the 10 commandments

Compiled by Josh Weiner // Edited by Valentin Velvel Lutset


On Thursday night, May 28th, 2020, we’ll continue this Shavuot tradition of a night of study. It’ll be different, some will be meeting in pairs or small groups, some alone at home. What unites us is a common text: over the next pages are the “ten commandments,” broken up into the ten traditional units, each in conversation with other Jewish texts, and with questions inviting us to continue the conversation ourselves. Interspersed between the classic texts are some thoughts from Berliners responding to the commandments from their own perspectives.

May this night of learning be fruitful, may we discover the power of chiddush - innovative re-readings, may we build connections backwards and forwards in time, and eventually rebuild our connections in space as well, with the holy community around us.

Chag Shavuot Sameach!

Josh Weiner