For the last several years, come this time of year, I try to invite friends to an uplifting night of "Shovavim" prayers designed to cleanse a person from the stains of sexual transgression, pornography viewing, masturbation, and the like. The people who come along always have a great time, but others reject the idea outright, saying, "That's Kabbalah," "That's Hasidut," or "Where is it written in the Shulchan Aruch?"
Others say they will consider it, but never call back. My question is, why are so many people afraid when it comes to facing up to their sexual errors? It is like finding a spring of water in a desert and offering a drink to a friend, who shakes his head and says, "Who says that it's water? There isn't any spring on my map. Maybe it's all an illusion."
On billboards throughout Israel, posters announcing the commencement of "Shovavim" are beginning to appear in an assortment of bright, attractive colors. The word "Shovavim" forms the initial Hebrew letters of the six consecutive Torah portions beginning with this Sabbath's reading of "Shemot." According to the Kabbalistic tradition, this six week period, paralleling the Torah's account of the Exodus from Egypt, is especially conducive to rectifying sexual transgressions, known as transgressions to the Brit (Arizal, Shar HaYichudim, 4:3). Because this year is a leap year, the Shovavim period will include an extra two weeks.
An in-depth article on Shovavim can be found on our jewishsexuality.com website.
The elder Kabbalist, Rabbi Leon Levi, shlita, will be leading the first all-night tikun of the Shovavim season this coming Thursday night, December 27, in the city of Holon, at the Suday Synagogue, 12 Rothschild Street, commencing at 11:30 pm. Bring towel for pre-dawn mikvah, and tefillin. Women’s section open.
The tikun is to be broadcast live at www.suday.tv. But there is nothing like being there!