Before my entry into the world of Kabbalah in 1962, I was a traditional, observant Jew. I observed the Jewish holiday known as "Shavuot" in the Orthodox manner. This holiday, which commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments, required that we study biblical or Talmudic text all night until dawn, at which time we would pray and then go to sleep. This was the way I had observed Shavuot from the age when I was first capable of staying awake all night. As I understood then, it was customary to observe this holiday in commemoration of the event on Mount Sinai. The reason for studying was to display our connection to the event, and that was all there was to it. It was a traditional observance, with no particular personal meaning for me.
The reader may then imagine how shocked and confused I was when I experienced my first kabbalistic Shavuot with my master, Rav Yehuda Brandwein. We seemed to be practicing and observing the holiday just as I had since childhood. It was truly a revelation... Read More