We frequently see people walking innocently from the synagogue to their home and back who are pounced upon by young people with eggs and bags of water. For some reason the water custom has turned into a trick played on people, and this does not reflect the receiving of the Torah. On the contrary.
Another custom that symbolized the receiving of the Torah is the tikkun leil shavuot, the all-night study session on Shavuot. For our forefathers and sages this night was meant to be used for speaking words of Torah and preparing for first light at the morning prayers, when we read the Ten Commandments, as if we had received the Torah anew.
Ashkenazi Jews have a custom of studying Gemara, the commentators, and the Torah, while Sephardic Jews study Sefer Hatikkun, which includes the Pentateuch, Mishnah, and Gemara, as well as the holy Zohar—Adra Rabba and Adra Zuta.
Religious stamp of approvalAnd today there is a third custom: to engage in debates, in celebrations, and in lectures that have no connection to preparing to receive the Torah. Sometimes there are lectures that explain that we in our generation are supposed to be Reform Jews.
Is it for such things that we participate in the tikkun and prepare to receive the entire Torah, or is this another reason to preach one doctrine or another that is not Torah from Sinai?
The Shavuot tikkun popular with the “enlightened” secular public is a desecration of what is holy, on the day of the receiving of the Torah. We sometimes see people with a kippah on their heads (and not necessarily Reform Jews) who attempt to give their stamp of approval by participating in discussions at an illusory tikkun.
It is certainly the obligation of the God-fearing public to accept every person, and perhaps a true Shavuot tikkun is the time—as preparation for the receiving of the Torah—to bring them into the synagogue, to study with them, to give them lectures on the importance and uniqueness of the Jewish people, but not, under any circumstances, at a tikkun of the “enlightened” secular public, where you will find the exact opposite.
Attack on Jewish roots
So why do they find a reason to attack our Jewish roots at the lectures they give on this holy night in particular? Is the night of Shavuot intended to teach us Darwin’s doctrine of evolution? In fact, the opposite is true. We must hold a tikkun for Shavuot in synagogues with learners of Torah, and not in theaters with desecrators of Torah.
Another thing that can be seen at the Shavuot tikkun is debauchery. There are those who have brought strange doctrines to the holy land from the Far East, and on Shavuot, especially on the holy night, they hold strange ceremonies on the beach, a phenomenon that is growing larger every year. Is that how we receive the Torah, or are we receiving the doctrine of idol worship?
Let us not forget that we, the Jewish people, and the tikkun and the various texts are similar to the sin of the golden calf. On the last day that Moses was on Mount Sinai the people of Israel sinned when they began to introduce other gods.
The new doctrines, the strange types of tikkun, are a spark from that same calf. And we who fear the word of God will be the priests and the Levites who preserved the ember, and we will preserve our heritage of receiving the true Torah and occupy ourselves with it.
'Words that stem from jealousy'Rabbi Meir Azari of Tel Aviv’s Beit Daniel Reform synagogue said in response, “These words stem from jealousy and from the great failure of the Orthodox establishment to interest the secular public in a Jewish experience. His claims are similar to the claims of the misnagdim against the hassidim in the early days, and stem from brotherly hate.
"Kakon would probably prefer a secular Jew outside the synagogue to a Jew sitting next to his wife and praying in a synagogue like Beit Daniel. It’s a pity that people like him are not capable of understanding that Judaism has many faces, just as there are 70 faces to the Torah.”