INTO THE NIGHT: Spotlight on Midrasha Ivrit

Downtown Jewish Life

May 15, 2018

INTO THE NIGHT, the 14th Street Y’s contemporary spin on Tikkun Leil Shavuot, is just days away.

The night-long celebration will take place on Saturday, May 19th. In the weeks leading up to Tikkun, we have highlighted new attractions, popular sessions, and a few of our more than twenty community partners who are coming together to make Tikkun a vibrant and diverse celebration of Jewish culture, art, history, and holy texts. Each post focused on one theme central to the creation of Tikkun’s many sessions: Ancestry Reclaimed, Soulfood: More Soul Than Food, Downtown Jewish Renaissance, and Stranger to Sanctuary.  




In this post, we are proud to highlight a new theme for this year’s Tikkun. For the first time, INTO THE NIGHT will include a Hebrew track, Midrasha Ivrit, for those who would like to explore the roots of Jewish heritage, or study the Torah’s original language, through a modern lens.


Midrasha Ivrit sessions include:

  • Writing and Chanting the Torah in the Feminine: Through storytelling and translation, artist Yael Kanarek reshapes cultural associations of Hebrew and other languages. During her LABA Fellowship, Yael created jewelry out of the first words of Genesis, interpreting the Hebrew language into pieces of art to be worn. This year at Tikkun, we are proud to have Yael present her newest piece of art, which again interprets the Hebrew language in Genesis — this time through the lens of the feminine. Rabbi Marisa EIlana will chant a portion of Yael’s work.
  • Ruth and the Concubine: In the session, participants will study Biblical texts together in Hebrew that show how women were simultaneously evolving within ancient rule and yet still living within primitive constructs. By looking at women’s roles in ancient texts through our modern contexts, we will then explore whether or not women advanced since then — or are women still expected to live within constructs created in the Bible?
  • Secrets of the Inner Sanctuary: Few spaces aroused the human imagination as did The Holy of Holies, the mysterious inner chamber of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. What was concealed in this secret space? What strange activities took place there? In this session, participants will study a selection of Talmudic tales that shed some light — but also enhance the mystery — onto these questions that have captivated Jews for centuries. And, as we gather together to study during Tikkun Leil Shavuot, we will discuss how such ancient notions of place and sanctity can inspire us in our cultural and spiritual pursuits today — including how our Downtown Jewish Life partners is reviving that sense of place within our community.

Unlike many of the other sessions offered at Tikkun, it is suggested for Midrasha Ivrit sessions that participants come in with some knowledge of Hebrew. However, like any of the other sessions, we ask that you come with an open mind and open heart. Through the different explorations of the Hebrew language, your knowledge of the Hebrew language — and therefore, of Jewish texts, culture, and heritage — will be challenged.