Temple Ner Tamid will host this year’s Tikkun for Erev Shavuot on Tuesday evening, May 30.

For more than 20 years, four synagogues — Bnai Keshet and Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, Temple Sholom of West Essex in Cedar Grove, and Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield — have gathered together for an evening of study, meditation and song.

This year’s visiting scholar is Rabbi Aaron Panken, president of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. The evening begins with Erev Shavuot worship at 7:30, immediately followed by a dairy-based nosh and social period.

Panken will offer his keynote address at 9 p.m.: “How True is True? True Lies, Alternative Truths and the Value of Veracity in Jewish Law.”

At 10 and 11 p.m., clergy and lay-leaders of the congregations will offer a variety of one-hour learning sessions.

At midnight all will gather to hear the chanting of Aseret Ha-Dibbrot (The 10 Commandments), and the Tikkun will conclude with Panken offering a final session titled “Seek Peace and Pursue It.”

The Tikkun will offer sessions for elementary age children at 7:30 p.m. and for teens at 10 p.m.

The evening is free and open to the public. All are invited for part or the entirety of the Tikkun.

Temple Ner Tamid is at 936 Broad St., Bloomfield.


Panken’s presentations:

“How True is True? True Lies, Alternative Truths and the Value of Veracity in Jewish Law”: Jewish texts have clearly privileged speaking the truth over propagating false information, with certain fascinating exceptions.There are definite examples where the truth must be shaped or altered in its presentation for various reasons. Philosophical texts, likewise, sometimes require lies when the truth may cause certain or potential damage. This session will explore a few of the core texts that define this conundrum in Jewish thought, along with a few philosophical responses, sketching the boundaries of shaping the truth and providing guidance for reacting to untruths we encounter. It is not entirely impossible that this discussion will be relevant to contemporary politics and situations that take place in community settings.

“Seek Peace and Pursue It”: Jewish tradition holds as one of its highest ideals the making of peace between parties who disagree. In a world that is profoundly more divided and polarized than in the recent past, how should Jewish people of good intention act in the world to make peace between the various parties they encounter? In this late-night shiur, we will explore the surprisingly relevant guidance offered by biblical and rabbinic texts for making peace in difficult situations.