As many of you know I hope I am an avid Tweeter. I love the short form of Twitter messages and tweet daily. You can follow me @deniseeger or @egerdl. Yes I love it so much that I have two accounts! Even the temple tweets @kolamila! Sign up to follow all of these.
Last year for Shavuot I participated in a Jewish Twitter project of Tweeting Torah to the Top. This was an effort to get the #torah tag in the trending topics of Twitter. Each hour Rabbis and lay people would tweet a torah message with the hashtag #torah. I will be participating again. Shavuot is on June 7. But we really want lots of people to participate. Tweet your favorite verse of Torah. Or your favorite Jewish quote. But let’s tweet Torah to the top.
For those late night hours–when I am studying Torah all night long–I pre-schedule my Torah tweets–with one of the many social media schedulers like HootSuite.
But this way I participate. How about you?
This is a message about it from Rabbi Mark Hurvitz—who is @rebmark and has great Tweets!
Two years ago Reconstructionist rabbi Shai Gluskin organized an attempt to bring Torah to as many people as possible on the evening of Shavuot, using Twitter. As he expressed it then (on Twitter):
Are you in? A 49th day of omer prep for Shavuot #Torah fest. Goal: get many tweeting Torah and see #Torah trend in top 10 the whole day.
Some people wonder why we might do this. Did not Hillel say that among our primary tasks is (Avot 1:12) loving mankind (all of humanity), and bringing them (all) close to Torah. אוהב את הברייות ומקרבן לתורה?
That year (5769) we were able to Tweet #Torah to the mid-30s among trending topics. I do not know how “high” we reached in 5770. I propose we give it our best again this year.
The “day” of June 7, 2011 is “erev” Erev Shavuot. I suggest that we prepare as many 133 character Torah lessons as we can to “release” on that day. If you have been sharing #Torah Tweets through the year… Torah does not go bad or stale. You should feel free to “recycle” those thoughts. I would like to begin tweeting at sundown Jerusalem time on the 7th. Does anyone know how to calculate that?
I think this is a great way to encourage awareness of Torah. I’m sure we each have many simple “Torah thoughts” that can be expressed in 133 characters. (Don’t forget to leave room for the final space and #Torah, that’s 7 more characters.) If you think that 133 characters is not enough for a profound thought from Torah, consider that this sentence is only 102 characters (also from “Hillel the Tweeter”):
If I am not for myself, who will be for me. if I am for myself alone, what am I. And if not now, when?
I suggest we each prepare a number of “tweets” in advance. Set up a text file and then simply copy, and paste them into our preferred Twitter tool about once or so an hour (depending on your “capabilities” (schedule, etc.)). For those who use Twitter with your congregations, your congregants, too, can join in… either with their own thoughts, or questions about #Torah, or re-tweeting yours. Let’s get everyone involved in thinking Torah as a lead-in to Shavuot.
If you expect to be busy on June 7, you can use any of a variety of *free* tools that have been developed that enable you to prepare your tweets in advance:
You can learn about more similar tools here (they may, or may not, still be functioning):
Anyone can tweet a thought about: what it means to be commanded; what “revelation” means in a world of information overload.
E. Last year David Levy of Succasunna prepared a tweet for each of the Parshiot. I know that some of us write haiku, others write limericks. These short forms often fit quite well as tweets.
F. If you have sermons that are online, shorten the URL using a service such as <is.gd> and add that short URL to a phrase that describes the sermon’s theme.
You get the idea….
So I encourage you to start your research. Sign up for a Twitter account if you don’t have one. www.twitter.com.
And start thinking and preparing to Trend Torah to the Top for Shavuot!!!!!