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High attendance for all-night Torah study and cheesecake buffets at Chabad on Campus UK

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010 - 11:09 pm

Blintzes1.jpgChabad on Campus UK celebrated the festival of Shavuot in style hosting traditional all-night Torah study sessions ‘Tikun Leyl’ at eleven campuses across the UK, from Edinburgh to Brighton. The higher than expected turn out took place despite the holiday falling out in the middle of exam period for many students.

South Kensington

At Chabad of South Kensington serving Imperial College, a total of forty five people came through the Chabad House on campus over the festival. Thirty students attended all night classes on the first night, given by students from IC, who spent time preparing the classes and making hand outs. In addition, fifteen students attended the torah reading of the Ten Commandments on Wednesday before sundown fulfilling one of the key aspects of the festival, which marks the anniversary of the receiving of the Torah, over 3,300 years ago at Mount Sinai.

The reading was enabled by an anonymous donor who generously gave the Chabad House a Torah scroll before the festival. Its first use was appropriately for the reading of the Ten Commandments.

Rabbi Mendy Loewenthal related that he called a particular student before the festival to join the Torah reading of the Ten Commandments on Wednesday afternoon.

The student responded politely "thank you for the call but it is really not my thing, I am not interested... I don't practice, it is not on my agenda" and continued to give a ten minute speech saying that he is really not practicing and is not interested in this kind of thing.

"I know..." Rabbi Mendy explained "but the reason I called was that we need a Minyan and could you help with the Minyan for the students in South Kensington”. "A minyan" he said "sure I'll come any time."

He came and he got a call up and had a good time... after he said please call any time for this kind of thing.

Edinburgh

In Edinburgh thirty people enjoyed a dairy buffet dinner and ice cream party at the campus Chabad House. Rabbi Pinny Wineman commented that “many students said it was there first time having a full on dairy dinner topped with an ice cream party for Shavuot”. 

Nottingham

In Nottingham, because of the busy exam period Rabbi Mendy Lent decided to focus on making Shavuot quick and easy. On the first day of the holiday, the Chabad House hosted a sumptuous 'milky madness' bar with quiches, pastas, blintzes, cheesecakes and ice cream, together with the reading of the Ten Commandments for forty students.  On the second day of Shavuot, twenty five students came back for a delicious BBQ with all the trimmings. 

Bloomsbury

In Bloomsbury, at the University of London, over sixty people attended meals and learning over the first Shavuot evening, with twenty five people who stayed almost until 3AM, for a special Shiur and discussion.

In addition, about seventy people, including students and young professionals attended a special, late reading of the Ten Commandments on Wednesday evening followed by a dairy buffet at the Western Marble Arch Synagogue organised by Chabad of Bloomsbury.

Oxford

In Oxford about seventy people attended a delicious cheesecake and blintzes buffet at the Slager Jewish student centre, followed by late night dinner and ‘Tikkun Leyl’ lectures and discussion.

The subjects during the evening were three thought provoking topics, does Judaism believe in reincarnation?; The chosen people: chosen for what?; and gender selection and human enhancement, led by Rabbi Eli Brackman, with discussion until dawn.

Despite the all night study, about 25 people attended the reading of the Ten Commandments, followed by a dairy lunch and ice cream party at the Chabad House. 

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