I’ve had some incredible Shavuots, both here and in the States, but for some reason, every year that I celebrate it in Jerusalem (this is the third or fourth time), there’s some limitation on me. This is at least the second time I’ve been too sick to be able to stay up all night learning, as is the custom. Tonight I’ll go to a friend’s for dinner and some Torah–some of which from his 86 year-old Jewish scholar grandfather–and then hit a class or two out in the big world (lots of synagogues and yeshivot have amazing programs with some of this town’s most stellar teachers and rabbis) as energy and health permit, but with this insane, hacking cough, there’s definitely not going to be a 5am trip to the Kotel (Western Wall) for me–that’s just more than my body can handle at the moment. Last year there was some other external reason why I couldn’t stay up, I forget what, but I made it to about 2 or 3am and then it was time to go home. I’d love to stay up all night in theory, but I don’t have a lot of attachment to it in practice. Some years, that will be the right thing, and some years, the tikkun needs to happen on the level of physical care rather than mental/spiritual marathons. I’m sure that even with my shortened period of study I will find some delicious learning tonight, and that the heavens will indeed open up, pouring fourth Divine radiance, like they do. But this might just happen without a visit to the Kotel at the end, is all.
By hook or by crook, I made it through counting the omer this year, said the bracha last night on 49. Sometimes it’s the small miracles that make us boggle.
Hag sameach to one and all. May you experience revelation in many ways, great and small.