Events / Saturday, June 8th, 2019

THE BIG REVEAL: Shavuot 5779


THE BIG REVEAL: Shavuot 5779

Saturday, June 8, 7:45 pm – Sunday, June 9, 1:00 am (aka LATE)
Shalhevet School, 910 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA (map)

rev – e – la – tion

noun – 1: the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai
2: the sudden emergence of some new idea, insight, or information
3: the uncovering of something secret or hidden from view


Come for a night of discovery through Torah of all forms: text study, cultural exploration, movement, food and song.


The prophetic voices of Valarie Kaur & Rabbi Sharon Brous will kick off the evening at 7:45pm and we will continue with a dynamic program into the early morning.

About Valarie:

Valarie Kaur is a seasoned civil rights activist and celebrated prophetic voice “at the forefront of progressive change” (Center for American Progress). Valarie burst into American consciousness in the wake of the 2016 election when her Watch Night Service address went viral with 30+ million views worldwide. Her question “Is this the darkness of the tomb – or the darkness of the womb?” reframed the political moment and became a mantra for people fighting for change. Valarie now leads the Revolutionary Love Project to reclaim love as a force for justice in America. As a lawyer, filmmaker, and innovator, she has won policy change on multiple fronts – hate crimes, racial profiling, immigration detention, solitary confinement, Internet freedom, and more. She founded Groundswell MovementFaithful Internet, and the Yale Visual Law Project to inspire and equip new generations of advocates. Valarie has been a regular TV commentator on MSNBC and contributor to CNN, NPR, PBS, the Hill, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post. A daughter of Sikh farmers in California’s heartland, Valarie earned degrees at Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, and Yale Law School. She was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. Valarie’s new book Revolutionary Love expands on her “blockbuster” TED Talk and hits the shelves Spring 2020.

More Shavuot details below: 
An ancient Jewish legend teaches that, in any encounter with the Torah, there are (at least) four levels of understanding, each one more profound than the last. Our journey this Shavuot (Saturday, June 8, 7:45 pm – 1 am at Shalhevet) will progress through these four phases of increasing revelation, until we reach the final session – The Big Reveal – where the secrets of the Torah will be revealed.

Our teachers will include:

7:45 pm: We will kick of with “Revelation and Revolution: From the Darkness of the Tomb to the Darkness of the Womb,” a conversation with Rabbi Sharon Brous and Valarie Kaur.

9-10 pm: Pshat (just the facts)
a) Rabbi Brad Artson, “Acquiring Torah: The Story of Rabbi Akiva.”
b) Nancy Wergeles and Rabbi Keilah Lebell, “Something Sweet. Ever wonder what’s with all the dairy on Shavuot?”
c) Warren Bass, senior editor at The Wall Street Journal, “Open Secrets: The Lures and Limits of Secrecy in Government and Journalism in the Time of Trump.”

10-11 pm: Remez (hints and allegations)
a) Rabbi Joe Menashe, “Underlying Meaning of Revelation at Mount Sinai According to Our Sages.”
b) Professor Sarah Bunin Benor, “A Linguistic Hint: How American Jews perform their identities through
Jewish English.”
c) Rabbi Ronit Tsadok, “You Got the Music In You: Discover what singing does for the soul as we take the music slow.”

11 pm-12 am: Drash (the search is on)
a) Rabbi Adam Greenwald, “You Want a Revelation… I Want a Revolution.”
b) Emily Holtzman, Rosh Beit Midrash, “Drashing It Old School: A Participatory Journey through the Book of Ruth.” Hosted by TRIBE, open to all.
c) Sara Melson, yoga instructor and IKARite, leads an all-levels easy, restorative, yummy stretchy yoga experience, with emphasis on breathing.

1 am: Sod (the secret’s out)
“The Big Reveal: One final revelation, and a chance to apply all the evening’s wisdom,” with Rabbis Sharon Brous and David Kasher.


Pshat – The “simple,” straightforward, literal meaning. You can’t move forward without first grasping this basic level of understanding. 


Remez – “Hinting” at something more, this is the layer of allegory, allusion, and symbolism. This is where we move beyond the literal, and begin to find hidden layers of meaning.


Drash – ‘Drash’ means “seeking,” for in this mode of learning, we are seeking to make connections outside the text in front of us – linking two stories, phrases, or ideas to create a third level of meaning. This is the kind of interpretation that the ancient rabbis were famous for.


Sod – The “secret” level of meaning. Here we enter the realm of Jewish mysticism, using secret codes and esoteric wisdom to unlock the most profound mysteries of the Torah.