Collective Effervescence

According to Emile Durkheim, collective effervescence refers to moments when individuals come together and communicate in the same thought and participate in the same action. “Electricity” is created and released, leading participants to a high degree of collective emotional excitement or delirium.

In explaining “and Israel encamped (in the singular) there opposite the mountain” (Exodus 19:2) Rashi comments that the singular form of the verb is used because they encamped together as though they were “One person with one mind”.

In many ways the experience of a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot is our reconnecting as the Jewish people did at Sinai in a collective effervescence. I like to think of it as a decentralized divine mosh pit. Enjoy the electricity.


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