What's the reason we stay up to learn on Shavuos night? If the reason is because we woke up late for Matan Torah, then why don't we just wake up for the earliest shacharis and be on time?

  • 2
    Some people indeed do that.
    – Double AA
    Commented May 15 at 17:23
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    See the Artscroll Shavuos Machzor for the full story with the Beis Yosef.
    – N.T.
    Commented May 15 at 17:25
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    Tikkun Lel Shavuot is a recent custom -- no earlier than the 1500s. It is not even mentioned in the Shulchan Arukh. Some say its popularity began with the availability of coffee, which was introduced in Arabia in the 15th century. The only reason for it I have seen is that God came to give us the Torah and found us all asleep, so we make amends that way. [Song of Songs Rabbah 1:57, Zohar on Vayikra 97b-98a (Emor)] Commented May 16 at 1:51
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    @MauriceMizrahi it gives me great pleasure that we can safely refer to a 500 year old custom as "recent" Commented May 16 at 19:19
  • sefaria.org/… Commented May 16 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


See this article Tikkun Leil Shavuot by Lesli Koppelman Ross. Referring to certain of the comments above: note that the author includes the phrase "All in all, Tikkun Leil Shavuot is a relatively recent development"

The first couple of paragraphs read as follows:

Following the Shavuot holiday meal, many people proceed to synagogue for Ma’ariv [the evening service], followed by an all-night (or into-the-night, as many last only until midnight) Torah study session based on the kabbalists‘ [mystics’] practice. [This specifically refers to the 16th-century mystics of Safed, Israel, under the leadership of Isaac Luria. Many people recite Ma’ariv before the meal, go home to eat, and return to synagogue for the study session. All in all, Tikkun Leil Shavuot is a relatively recent development.]

We remain awake to show that, unlike the situation of our heavy-lidded ancestors at Sinai, there is no need to bring us to our senses; we are ready to receive Torah. The tikkun (which refers both to the study session and to the text used for it) was the only observance developed specifically for Shavuot. (Although tikkuns were later introduced for Passover and Hoshanah Rabbah — which is part of Sukkot, the Festival of Booths — this is the one most widely observed.)

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