This is a poster published in 1972 by Kibbutz Yifat, announcing a Tikkun Leil Shavuot being held at the regional school. The illustration on the poster is of men in black suits and black hats and Hassidic streimels (fur hats) studying Torah. The religious men are gathered in a book-lined room around a table on which there are two lit candles and many open books, over which they are poring. The text at the bottom of the poster announces a Tikkun Leil Shavuot event, during which it is traditional to study the Torah all through the night. There is also an announcement for a party to celebrate the giving of the Torah, which is decorated with a picture of the tablets of the Ten Commandments.
This poster refers to the tradition of learning Torah on Shavuot, the festival commemorating the giving of the Torah to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. Although this is a religious tradition, many secular Jews also celebrate the festival, bringing new meaning to the festival, as can be seen in this poster.
Would You Like to Know More?
Tikkun Leil Shavuot – Tikkun Leil Shavuot is the custom of staying up all night and learning Torah, or other Jewish texts, on the night of Shavuot. This custom originates in the mystic writings of the Zohar from the thirteenth century. There are many reasons given for this custom. One reason is to commemorate the spiritual preparation of the Israelites the night before they received the Torah (the night before Shavuot). Another compares the receiving of the Torah to a wedding between God and the Jewish people, and just like a bride on the night before her wedding, the Jewish people stay awake all night in preparation. According to one Midrash, the Israelites overslept on the morning that they were to receive the Torah and were woken up by a blast of the shofar. Staying up all night to study is therefore seen as a correction (in Hebrew, tikkun) of that mistake and a way of showing one’s eagerness. In the past it was customary to study a set order of texts including sections from the Zohar, Bible, Mishnah, and other holy sources. These days the custom has become very popular, and study sessions and lectures on a large variety of Jewish topics are offered in synagogue and community centres catering for both religious and secular audiences.
Kibbutz Yifat – Kibbutz Yifat is a secular kibbutz in the Jezreel valley in the Galilee. The kibbutz was founded in 1954 and, as of 2017, had a population of 1,164. Today, Yifat is a privatised kibbutz and many of the kibbutz members earn their living outside of the kibbutz, but agriculture is still practiced by some. The kibbutz has a museum about the pioneers of the Jezreel Valley and a school that serves the whole region.
Shavuot - Shavuot, also known as the Festival of Weeks – is celebrated on the sixth of Sivan. Shavuot, one of the three biblical pilgrim festivals, commemorates many different things: it marks the day that the Israelites received the Torah on Mount Sinai; it celebrates the wheat harvest in Israel; and it signifies the end of the Counting of the Omer. It is celebrated with many colourful and festive traditions such as holding bikkurim ceremonies, eating dairy food, decorating the synagogue with flowers and greenery, reading the Book of Ruth, and studying the Torah all through the night (Tikkun Leil Shavuot). In modern Israel, kibbutzim celebrate Shavuot and the bikkurim with processions displaying their produce of the previous year, including fruit and vegetables, farm animals, and even the new babies!