Shavuot nightlong Learn-a-thon covers range of themes from Torah

It is customary on the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, to stay up all night in study sessions. Study becomes even more joyful when taking place in a chavurah, or group of friends gathered for this purpose.

Congregation B’nai Avraham joins Jewish communities throughout the world in observing the centuries-old custom of conducting an all-night vigil dedication to Torah learning on the first night of Shavuot, which begins tonight, Tuesday, May 14.

The Learn-a-thon in Brooklyn Heights begins at 8 p.m. as B’nai Avraham’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin, presents the topic, “Why Ten Commandments?”

After a break for Ma’ariv services and the traditional Shavuot dairy meal, the Learn-a-thon resumes with a panel discussion on “Living with Integrity: Ethics and values as a prerequisite to Torah.” Guest speakers include the Hon. John M. Leventhal, a Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2nd Department; Pery D. Krinsky, Esq. of Krinsky PLLC; and Rabbi Mendel Hecht, JLI, CLE instructor on Talmud and Ethics. Well-known Brooklyn attorney Steven D. Cohn will moderate the discussion, which runs from 11:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Shavuot also pre-empts youths’ bedtime, or at least defers it by several hours. Zecharia Lipitz will lead the Youth Class, running concurrently with the “Living with Integrity” study, from 11:30 at night until 1 a.m.

The Learn-a-thon- also includes talks on “The Psychology of Shavuot,” with Ethan Ehrenberg (1 to 1:40 a.m.); “The Ten Commandments of Love” with Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, chair of religious affairs at Pratt University (1:40-2:20 a.m.); “Shavuot; an in-depth Text Study,” with Rabbi Shmuel Estreicher (2:20 a.m.-3 a.m.); and “Soul Strings: Chassidic music to stir the soul,” (3 to 3:30 a.m.). 117 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

All classes are free of charge; for dinner [$35], reservations are suggested. For more information please call 718-596-4840 or email [email protected], before 7 pm on Tuesday.