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Shavuot 5780-2020 at FTJC

image of manuscript with handwritten hebrew text descending from above to below

Although Shavuot commemorates our people standing as one at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah, this year we are unable to gather in person as a community. Nor may we gather for outdoor minyanim, picnics, or playdates with people outside our households.

Nevertheless, our tradition teaches that revelation is not only communal, but also personal. Each person at Sinai heard the Torah according to who they were as an individual. We will observe the holiday at home, but we can still remain connected to our community. 

We'll celebrate the "Feast of Weeks" with a week's worth of online gatherings for ritual and learning before and after Yom Tov. And we are providing learning resources to guide our individual Torah study during the holiday.

Quick Links:

Resources for Learning

Schedule of Online Programming

Shavuot with Rimonim: FTJC's Family Learning Community

Eruv Tavshilin for Cooking for Yom Tov and Shabbat

Lighting Candles for Yom Tov and Shabbat

Resources for Learning

FTJC Source Sheet for Torah Study (PDF)

We are delighted to offer this Shavuot Learning Packet, a downloadable PDF of source sheets and guiding questions, from Rabbi Guy Austrian, Rabbi Lisa Goldstein, and Laynie Soloman. If you don't have access to a printer and would like a hard copy mailed to you, please e-mail Jamie Weisbach no later than Sunday, May 24, with your current mailing address.

Collective Learning Project:

Let's strengthen the bonds that hold our community together through shared Torah. Our goal is to study the entire Chumash (Five Books of the Torah) and the first Seder of the Mishnah, Seder Zera'im. Seder Zera'im covers prayer and agriculture--themes that are deeply related to Shavuot's role as a harvest festival and the story of Ruth that we read on Shavuot. 54 parashahs of Torah plus 74 chapters = 128 sign-ups. We can do it! Click or tap here for full information, guidance, and a sign-up sheet.


Schedule of Online Programming:

A Whole Shavua of Shavuot!

Cooking for Shavuot with Chef Jack Greene! 
Monday May 25, 7:00 PM

Missing Jack's extraordinary kiddush food and debonair style? Join him for a live online class on how to cook one of Shavuot's dairy delights. Register by Sunday May 24 to get a list of ingredients and a recipe.

Talking to God, Shavuot Edition: When Torah and Tefillah Kiss
Tuesday May 26, 8:00 PM

What is the relationship of Torah to prayer, two pillars of Jewish life? How do Torah texts function when interspersed in the liturgy of the Siddur? Why do we say "mi shebeirach" prayers over an open Torah? Featuring a closer look at "Yetziv Pitgam," the piyut for Shavuot that interrupts the Haftarah for Day 2. A special Shavuot edition of our weekly Tuesday night class on prayer, with Rabbi Guy Austrian.

Wednesday May 27, 8:00 PM

Rabbi Guy will lead us in a traditional Yizkor Service with words of Torah and Yizkor liturgy. Participants will be able to remember those who have left our world, with a modified Mourner's Kaddish. Donations in honor of Yizkor may be made to FTJC by clicking here.

Shavuot Torah Readings
Thursday May 28, 5:00 PM

Welcome Shavuot with “Akdamut” (“Introductory Words”) — a strange and beautiful Aramaic poem that introduces the Shavuot reading of the Ten Commandments with sweeping theology and a vision of redemption. Rabbi Guy will introduce Akdamut with a brief study of its text. We will then lein from a chumash the holiday Torah readings for both days.

Havdalah - Reuniting after the Holiday
Saturday May 30, 9:15 PM

Rabbi Guy will lead an online Havdalah, with opportunities to reflect on your holiday and Shabbat.

Melaveh Malka - Escorting the Shabbat (and Yom Tov) Queen
Saturday May 30, 9:45 PM

Singing, Torah, shmoozing, and hanging out, hosted by R. Sara Zacharia. Bring a word of Torah that you learned over the holiday!

The Book of Ruth - Class and Reading
Sunday May 31, 4:00 PM

Join us for an online reading Megillat Ruth, the original classic of love and loyalty — taking us from the harvest origins of Shavuot, through wrenching human relationships, to the footsteps of Messiah. An introductory lesson will be taught by Meggie Kwait.


Shavuot with Rimonim, FTJC's Family Learning Community

Sunday May 31

Zera'im (0-3) 1:00-1:30pm Join our youngest age groups for Shavuot songs and stories.

Nitzanim (PreK-2nd) 2:00-2:30 Join Nitzanim for their monthly program, "Growing into Jewish Holidays", where they will learn about Shavuot through games, crafts, and stories.

Shorashim (3rd-5th) 3:00-3:30 Join Shorashim for tefillah, songs, and a Shavuot story.


Eruv Tavshilin for Cooking for Yom Tov and Shabbat

On a typical holiday, we are permitted to cook only for that day. But because Shavuot Day 1 falls this year on Thursday night and Friday, leading into Shabbat, how can we cook on Friday for Shabbat? We make an "eruv tavshilin" (literally, a mixing of cooking), which allows us to cook during the Yom Tov for Shabbat. In this ritual, we begin the Shabbat cooking *before* Shavuot Day 1 begins, and set aside a small portion of two cooked foods. We recite a blessing and declaration. We may then continue the cooking for Shabbat during Shavuot Day 1 (until Friday night when Shabbat begins), and complete the circle by eating the two set-aside foods during Shabbat.

Lighting Candles for Yom Tov and Shabbat

Because Shavuot Day 1 falls this year on Thursday night and Friday, a Yom Tov leading into Shabbat (also Shavuot Day 2), how will we light candles on Friday evening for Shabbat? On Yom Tov, we do not light a new flame (or extinguish one), but we can transfer an existing flame. Candle-lighting time on Thursday evening is 8:01 PM, 18 minutes before sunset. Before the holiday begins, prepare a flame (such as a 25-hour candle or a pilot light on a gas stove), then light candles as usual, and bless "...lehadlik ner shel yom tov." On Friday evening, candle-lighting time is also 8:01 PM, 18 minutes before sunset. Transfer fire from the existing flame, using a match or stick. If your custom is to light a memorial candle for Yizkor, which will be recited this Shabbat morning at shul, light that candle now. Then light two Shabbat candles and bless "...lehadlik ner shel shabbat veshel yom tov." Do not extinguish the match or stick but let it go out on a tray. On Saturday night, the end of Shabbat and Yom Tov is at 9:10 PM; make Havdalah as you would at the end of any Shabbat.


Sat, December 5 2020 19 Kislev 5781