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Last year we talked of ways to stay awake through eating, walking and showing up to Shiur late. As we learned from years past, showing up to any class on time will induce sleep. Many of you may have also figured out that once your body gets used to any form of awakeness, you become immune to it. Hence, sleepwalking.
So, I bring you new ways to stay up this Shavuot.
Bring Your Children
They keep you up when you're trying to sleep on Shabbat afternoon. You might as well use them properly.
If you have a newborn, bring them along as well. When you're about to fall asleep, they'll make sure you don’t. They know what they're doing. Their screaming and crying will also keep the rest of the community awake and not liking you.
Better yet, get rid of the family’s supply of Ritalin and everybody will get some sleep next Shabbat.
Learn in Chavrusa Form
Learning by yourself won't help you stay awake. If you ever heard yourself talk, you would understand.
Learning with somebody else, a Chavrusa, will help you stay up. A Chavrusa screaming at you is what you need. Somebody that is vehemently opposed to you. This is why the Beit Midrash (house of Torah study) is very loud, with a lot of arguments. It starts with somebody screaming and then it gets louder with developed animosity. By the time you get to the Pshat, fights are breaking out. It's all done to keep people up. Most Batei Midrash don't allow for spouses to learn together, as they don't want to risk injury.
There are a lot of people who are trying to sleep in the Beit Midrash. Once they hear that they're going to start learning a Tosafot, they get tired. It's too much concentration, and the text is very small. Couple that with sleeping in the dorms and you're only going to the Beit Midrash to catch some shuteye.
Side Lesson: Don't concentrate on what you're learning this Shavuot. To much focus tires you out.
Chavrusa Is a Two Way Street of Insult
As a Chavrusa, it's your duty to encourage your Chavrusa to stay up. To help them stay up, you can say stuff like, 'You're a nothing, and the Rambam would agree with that.' That should also help bring them closer to understanding the Mishna Torah. Tell them they're a slacker and they're a failure because they sleep, to add an extra level of hurt. Hurtful statements makes it harder for them to doze.
The tradition of yelling at your learning partner is best done with somebody you know, especially a close friend. This way, when you're arguing over Rabba and Rava, you can also bring up how nobody likes them; always a good technique to use when arguing any point, as it will bother them.
Play Jewish oriented games and it's like you are learning Torah. Some great games that I played over Shavuot: Who wants to be a Mitzvahneer? Run for Shabbis. Settlers of Judea Samaria.
I was conflicted with Who Wants to Be a Mitzvahneer. I started playing that game for money, then we learned that gambling is forbidden. That killed the fun. Then that led to a theological discussion, as to whether or not it's fine to do Mitzvot for money. More learning, and that wasn't going to help anybody stay up when learning.
Run for Shabbis wasn't encouraging for my out of shape Shabbat guests, who like to rest on Shabbat. You also shouldn't be running on Shabbat.
You will need a Chavrusa to play most board games. Much suggested over a Sefer.
Have a Friend Smack You
If you go to the Shiur, there is a good chance you will fall asleep. If somebody is there to smack you, that might keep you up for a few minutes. Your natural instinct will be to hit back, but there's no reason to physically attack the speaker.
It will also save you from suffering the greatest form of embarrassment; snoring in public.
Remember, you can always ask your Chavrusa to do this for you. They'll be glad to, for the sake of Torah.
This might look awkward in shul, but it is a communal activity. Everybody wants to see the Gabai and Chazan go at it. I've heard the beedle at our shul talk about taking the cantor out in the middle of one of his long Musaf renditions.
Getting body slammed will help wake you up. Better yet, wrestle with your Chavrusa. It's the natural progression.
If you have a chance to taunt your Chavrusa with a Macho Man Randy Savage style ‘Oh yeah! Just wait till I gave you my understanding of Tosafot. Pshat. Oh yeah!’ that will help everybody feel like they're ready to receive the Torah. Maybe don't do the Macho Man thing. It's a bit much. Use your judgment. If you full nelson somebody and then powerslam them though, you can do it.
If none of that works, sleep. You're tired.
If we didn't learn anything, we did learn that the best Chavrusa is someone you disdain.
Here's the link to the original ways to stay up on Shavuot night
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That is how the punchline of a Jewish joke should look. Like you're questioning something, dealing with serious stomach issues, or giving a sermon.