Out of 2200 attendees at the Tikkun Leil Shavuot at the JCC on the Upper West Side, several encounters especially remain vibrant in my mind. There are those where e-mail correspondents become known panim-el-panim, face-top-face. Wonderful to meet each of you in person! May our lives continue to intersect in Torah study and mitzvah-centered living.
Then there were session-focused precious moments. In hubbatzin Barry's Bub's Mitzvah Story about two "tefillin ambushes", one Breslov and one ChaBaD, in which he discovers he wants to be prepared for the next one and introduce those mitzvah-mentors to another important teaching, Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning." A young student I met afterward in the hallway was enlivened at the idea of respectful reciprocity among branches of Judaism. He told me: "I'm gonna go to a sukkah mobile next time they come and learn some of their stories about lulav shaking, and also ask them about how much attention is paid to the treatment of workers who harvest the lulav branches and etrogs." The Reclaiming Judaism Mitzvah-Centered Living Project is working!
The other was in a text study lead by trauma specialist Aviva Perlo, on the many levels at which we can receive or resist revelation within our Jewish experiences. A person in perhaps in his twenties inquired to the effect: "How do I know if what I'm feeling is just ego or authentic revelation?" For me I know from practicing Focusing, which brings "knowing" from way underneath ego. Moses said: "Are you jealous of me? Would that all God's people would be prophets and Godly ruach (spirit) come upon them." Leviticus 11:29. What a remarkable prayer and surely a Shavuos prayer that speaks to our need today, for our lives as the lens for Torah to be inspired Godly ways. Answers in the workshop answers were rich and deep. What's yours?