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Shavuot at Adas Israel

Thursday, May 25, 2023 - Saturday, May 27, 2023

Service Schedule | Livestream Media Player | Sefirat HaOmer

Ready yourself for an evening of powerhouse Torah, Connection, and Ascension under the stars at Adas Israel, or over the airwaves from wherever you are. Kick off the evening with a reading from our very own Adas Israel edition of Megillat Ruth, filled with stories and experiences of some of those who converted to Judaism through Adas, and continue into the late night hours with prayer, song, learning, and lounging. Chag Sameach, and see you at the mountain. 

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Learning

Adas Israel's Megillat Ruth, Thursday, May 25 at 8:00pm

The story of the book of Ruth is one of movement from loss to discovery, from relationship to belonging. This is a journey traversed by our community, individually and collectively, time after time. This year, we will be creating and sharing our own Megillat Ruth, compiling the stories and experiences of some of those who converted to Judaism through Adas. Interweaving personal testimony, ancient verses, rabbinic teachings, and reflective discussions, this evening will bring the story of Ruth into the here and now—into our own losses, discoveries, relationships and places of belonging. This session will be followed by breakout learning sessions taught by Adas community members.

Breakout Learning Groups, Thursday, May 25

Group Options #1: 9:30pm, Biran Beit Midrash and Gewirz Beit Am

Biran Beit Midrash Gail Fisher – "The Yetzer HaRa Has a Bad Rap" 
It’s unfortunate that the Yetzer HaRa is contrasted with the Yetzer HaTov, in that one is to be shunned while the other is desirable.  The very words do mean “bad” and “good”.  But without the Yetzer HaRa, there would be no creativity – no paintings painted, no symphonies composed, no buildings erected.  What does Mussar teach about it and how do we make space for it in our lives?

Gewirz Beit Am Bill Liss Levinson – Mizmor Shir L’Yom HaShabbat: Does Psalm 92 Contain a Bold Message of Theological Modesty? 
We’ll explore two well-known verses of this oft-said psalm through a lens focused on the specific language and grammar of the text. Come with your open mind as we look at Biblical and Hasidic notions of our attempts to understand God, the world and ourselves. Join me in deriving lessons regarding our need to have theological modesty as we seek - daily and forever- to find, and enter into relationship with, God.

Group Options #2: 10:30pm, Biran Beit Midrash and Gewirz Beit Am

Gewirz Beit Am Dr. Scott Lasensky Senior Advisor at ENTER: The Jewish Peoplehood Alliance– Reimagining “Jewish Peoplehood:” 
A unifying ideology in an era of polarization 

Biran Beit Midrash Dr. Edna Friedberg, Senior Curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Radical Jewish Women: 
The Kosher Meat Riots of 1902

Full Shavuot Schedule:

(Please Note: Schedule is subject to change.)

Leil Shavuot, Thursday, May 25

• 7:30pm Maariv and Kiddush
Siddur Lev Shalem Pages: Click Here

• 8:00pm Reading of Adas Israel's Megillat Ruth and Clergy Sessions
In-Person & Livestreamed 

• 9:20pm Food and Drinks Open
Quebec Street Lobby

• 9:30pm Breakout Learning Groups #1
Biran Beit Midrash and Gewirz Beit Am

• 10:30pm Breakout Learning Groups #2
Biran Beit Midrash and Gewirz Beit Am

Shavuot Day 1, Friday, May 26

• 9:30am Combined Service in the Gewirz Beit Am
In Person or Click Here to Join Live.
Siddur Shabbat & Festival Morning Pages: Download Here
Akdamut and Megillat Ruth: Download
Torah and Haftarah Pages: Download Here

10:30am Shavuot Hike and Story Time 

• 6:00pm Maariv and Kabbalat Shabbat
In Person
Siddur Lev Shalem Mincha Pages: 
Siddur Lev Shalem Maariv Pages: 

Shavuot Day 2 & Shabbat, Saturday, May 27

• 9:15am Clergy-Led service and Yizkor (10:45am) in the Charles E. Smith Sanctuary. All are welcome.
In Person or Click Here to Join Live.
Siddur Shabbat & Festival Morning Pages: Download Here
Akdamut and Megillat Ruth: Download
Yizkor Service Pages: Download Here
Torah and Haftarah Pages: Download Here

• 11:00am Mah Tovu service for families and children ages 0-6 in the Youth Lounge


Shavuot Media Player:

Join us here for Tikkun Leil Shavuot learning over the airwaves.



Source sheet can be found here

Sefirat HaOmer

Beginning on the second night of Passover we begin to count 49 days, 7 weeks until we reach the wheat harvest and Revelation at Mount Sinai on Shavuot. We call this time the Sefirat HaOmer or “Counting of the Omer.” The Omer is counted each night after the sun goes down- if one forgets, you can say the blessing all day until nightfall the next evening.


Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with 
His commandments, and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.

A Reflection on Sefirat HaOmer by Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt:

There is a different space of the journey of everyday, of marking time not through major accomplishments or milestones, but through the sun rising and setting of marking the passage of time, of hammering at something slowly, patiently over a contemplative period of time.  This is the Omer. 

We begin counting the Omer on the second night of Passover and we count every night until we get to 49 and arrive at the holiday of Shavuot- matan Torah (the giving of the Torah).  In ancient times the counting was a marking of the agricultural calendar- one would plant their wheat at Pesach and harvest it 7 weeks later.  Shavuot is one of the shelosh regalim, one of the 3 times of year people would make pilgrimage to the Temple (the others being Sukkot and Passover). On Shavuot first fruits were brought to the Temple as a way of giving thanks for the abundance that God had provided. 

We have become disconnected with the counting of the Omer because we are urban- we do not rely on the small plantings we make in our city gardens to eat, we do not watch an entire harvest spring from the ground and we do not have a Temple where we can offer our first fruits.

So the ritual of counting the Omer needs a reset.  A way of connection in the modern world to link the time between our liberation (Passover) to  our revelation and receiving of Torah (Shavuot).  The most remarkable days are those of the quiet rhythm of our lives.  Waking up without the rush- the steady movement forward- gentle and calm.  The time to dig our hands into our relationships, our work- the planting.  The time for reflection, noticing, and being- awaiting the harvest.  And finally the joy of our first fruits- which we can only gather after we have had the discipline of sowing, planting, and waiting.  Something will always emerge out of the ground. 

There is a reason we don’t recite shehecheyanueach night of the counting of the Omer. Rabbi Levi Yitzhak, the Kedushat Levi writes, “during the counting of the Omer, people are in anticipation of when the counting will be completed. They want the completion to arrive soon so they can experience closeness to the divine. Were they to have the capacity to complete the counting in an instant and be immediately able to enter into the closeness, how good and how pleasant it would be. This is why we do not recite shehecheyanu upon counting the Omer.”

The shehecheyanu would imply that we have arrived to a particular moment.  But this time is about the steady, continuous journey, not the arrival.  We’ll know when we have arrived and we’ll be ready then to offer our first fruits.  This year we will again mark the Omer at Adas with a display in the Quebec street entrance where we will add a jar and a wheat stalk every day.  With each jar we get closer.  Let’s use this time to linger, to notice, to plant, and to allow the Torah of our deepest selves to emerge.  I look forward to seeing you at Sinai. 

Tue, June 6 2023 17 Sivan 5783