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Learning Shavuot Night

Updated: May 15, 2023

The Daily Halacha Moment - Learning Shavuot Night 📙

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What should one learn on Shavuot Night?

What should a Sefardic student in an Ashkenaz Yeshiva do if the Yeshiva is not reading the Tikkun?


During the night of Shavuot, one should try to focus on saying the Tikkun Leil Shavuot. Even though learning Gemara is important, one should preferably recite the tikkun.[1]

One who finds it difficult to read the Tikkun in its entirety may read the parts of Tanach and at least one paragraph of the Zohar. Then he may continue to learn Gemara or Sefer HaMitzvot of the Rambam for the remainder of the night or whatever his heart desires.[2]

A Yeshivah student whose Rosh Yeshivah requests that the students specifically learn Gemara should listen to the Rosh Yeshivah and not separate himself to recite the Tikkun. *However*, if one has time, he should try to say some of the Tanach portion of the Tikkun before continuing to learn Gemara. The most important thing is to learn as much as one can, without wasting time sleeping or talking.[3] Some Ashkenazim have the custom not to read the Tikkun one should follow ones custom. [4]

Adapted From R' Yonatan Nacsons "Laws Of The Holidays"


[1]. See Ben Ish Chai, Bamidbar 1:3–4, which states that one should specifically focus on reading the Tikkun on Shavuot night since it brings one’s neshamah closer to purity and holiness.

[2]. One who finds it difficult to read the entire Idra Rabbah should at least read one paragraph of it, and in this way fulfill the recitation of the Tikkun by reading at least part of the Zohar. See also Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 18:11, which states that one may recite the Tikkun until chatzot and then continue learning Gemara or Sefer HaMitzvot, while learning about the mitzvot that are applicable today. See also Yalkut Yosef (5772 edition), Shabbat, book 1, vol. 3, p. 847, in which Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef writes that in his yeshivah, Yeshivat Chazon Ovadia, the students would learn Gemara until chatzot. After chatzot, they recited the tikkun, at the end of which they split up the reading of the Idra Rabbah between all of the students. One should be especially careful not to waste time on Shavuot, since the Chachamim state that it is the time when one is judged for the amount of Torah that he will merit to learn in the coming year. See more on this subject in Pele Yoetz, Atzeret.

[3]. See Ohr LeTzion, vol. 3, 18:11; VaYashov HaYam 2:12; Yalkut Yosef, Moadim page 439. See also Yechaveh Daat 3:32, which says that those who learn Gemara throughout Shavuot night have what to rely on, provided that the night is not wasted with idle chatter, since one who sits and speaks idle chatter is considered as if he is sleeping.

[4]. See Chok Yaakov, Siman 494 where HaRav Yaakov Reisher testified that in his grandfather's home they did not observe the practice of reciting the tikkun lel Shavuot. Each family member studied whatever subject he wished through the night. He urged that the tikkun was established for ignorant people who are incapable of studying anything in depth. However, the Chida ( Lev David31) insisted that the common custom throughout the world is that the jews gather together and recite the tikkun in unison on Shavuot night, following the instructions of the Arizal. See also Moed Lekol Chai 18:12.

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