…our traditional Shabbat greeting meaning “Sabbath Peace.” This is our way to welcome the arrival of Shabbat and to wish others a peaceful day of rest. Shabbat is a day apart from the rest of the week — 25 hours of rest and peace during which work and the burden to create are set aside.
Shabbat morning services at Netivot Shalom are a celebration of community and an embrace of the gift of Shabbat. We hope that this guide gives you some idea what to expect at our Shabbat service. You can find information about Shabbat offerings for children here.
Our Audio Guide for Davening has sound files for Shabbat morning, Kiddush, grace after meals, and Havdalah.
The Shabbat service blends elements of communal and personal prayer. You will hear passages chanted aloud by the service leaders, quiet moments while we read silently, and prayers where the congregation sings together. Everyone is a welcome participant, and we encourage you to sing or hum along whether or not you know the words or the melody. Praying in English is perfectly acceptable and welcomed.
If you’re unfamiliar with Hebrew or the proceedings of Shabbat services (or even if you aren’t!) getting lost is quite normal. More than likely, a page number will be called out for the next section of the siddur, but please do not hesitate to look over your neighbor’s shoulder or ask if you cannot find the place. At the bottom of this page you can find detailed information about the structure of services and the books that we use.
- You will see many people wearing a kippah, or head covering, as a way to honor G-d. We ask that all people who are comfortable with that symbol wear a kippah, Jews and non-Jews alike.
- As a reminder of the biblical commandment to perform mitzvot, many adult Jews wear a tallit (prayer shawl). If you would like to wear a kippah or tallit, Congregation Netivot Shalom has some available for your use.
- Please do not take pictures, smoke, or write during Shabbat.
- Please leave your cell phone off, or on silent. If you must use your phone, please go out to the sidewalk to do so.
- Please do not applaud during services. The person leading services or giving the drasha (sermon) is an embodiment of the community’s prayer, intention, and learning; they are not entertaining an audience. Instead, “Yasher koach!” is how we say congratulations for a job well done. Yasher koach can be translated as “may your strength be firm,” and it is a way of acknowledging the power of the persons’ contribution to the service and wishing them continued strength.
Please share in our joy for Shabbat by joining us for the blessing over the wine, Kiddush, immediately following the service. We gather together, each holding a cup of wine while the blessing is recited, and then drinking the blessed wine. Following the Kiddush, we customarily ritually wash our hands and say the blessing for bread. We are then invited to join in a meal. At its conclusion, we recite birkat hamazon, thanking G-d for the gifts of food and joy.
NAVIGATING THE SERVICES
I. BIRCHOT HASHACHAR and PESUKEI DE-ZIMRA (pp. 61 – 106)
These sections contain the preliminary recitation of blessings, Psalms, and biblical texts, setting the mood for the formal morning service that follows.
II. SHACHARIT (pp. 107 – 138)
The formal morning service includes the Barchu, or call to prayer; the Shema, a proclamation of Judaism’s essential beliefs; and the Amidah, meaning “standing,” which is the devotional center of the prayer service. The Amidah is first said in silence and is then repeated by the prayer leader. Kaddish, a prayer of glorification of G-d, punctuates the major divisions of the service.
III. TORAH SERVICE (pp. 139 – 154)
In contrast to the private Amidah in other sections of the service, the Torah Service is public and communal. The Torah scroll is removed from the Ark with a formal service and processional. Out of respect, we rise whenever the Torah is lifted or carried. A weekly portion (parsha) is chanted aloud in Hebrew from the handwritten scroll. The melody follows an ancient form of musical notation. The Torah reading is divided into seven parts. For each of these parts, a person is honored with an aliyah (literally, “a going up”) to recite the blessing over the Torah. Often, an aliyah celebrates some significant life cycle event such as a birth, upcoming wedding, or anniversary. Participation in any part of the Torah service is an honor.
After the final aliyah, a special prayer for all those who are seriously ill is recited. When this is completed another blessing is said for those who have come up to the Torah, then we rise as the Torah is lifted and covered.
After reading from the Torah, the Haftorah, a specific selection taken from the books of the Prophets, is chanted. After the Haftorah, the Torah is returned to the Ark with a processional that is parallel to that at the beginning of the Torah service. A member of the congregation then delivers a drasha (sermon) about the Torah or Haftorah reading.
IV. MUSAF (pp. 155 – 187)
This section of the service begins with another Amidah. The Musaf service contains a final Kaddish, recited by mourners or those observing a yahrzeit (the anniversary of the death of a loved one). A final hymn concludes the service.
During the Torah service we switch to the ETZ HAYIM, or chumash (the red book). Jewish scriptures bound in a form that corresponds to the division of weekly readings or parshot in Hebrew, are generally referred to as a chumash. The word chumash comes from the Hebrew word meaning five, referring to the five books of the Torah. ETZ HAYIM contains not only the five books of Torah, but also haftarah portions and commentaries on the text written by rabbinic scholars.