The mission of the Religious Practices Committee is to provide an open forum for congregation and clergy to discuss and implement evolving religious practices of Reform Judaism. Our goal is to ensure the furtherance of spirituality and knowledge of our congregation.

Neal Levitt
Religious Practices Committee

Why bother to attend a Shabbat service?

The answer is simple - why not? Try to come up with a valid reason for not attending a Sabbath service.

The Friday evening service is an excellent way to thank God for a good week or to say blessings and thanks for the days to follow. The evening service may also be a good time to see friends and relatives and wish them Shabbat Shalom. Although it’s a shorter service (usually less than an hour) it is a warm and special time to welcome the Sabbath.

Friday evening services can range from a spirited  jazz or rock Shabbat to a more solemn reflective Shabbat. The service may be led by our 6th graders or the Women of Reform Judaism/B’rith Kodesh Sisterhood. There may be a discussion of world events or lesson about Judaism. There is always something for everyone - especially the music!

Or maybe you will chose our Saturday morning Shabbat service. Whether in the beauty of the Sanctuary or the warmth and coziness of the Atrium, Saturday service is a music-filled special time for prayer and reflection. You will not only read and hear our history from the Torah and Haftarah, but you will learn of their important lessons and messages. The D’var Torah given by the Rabbi, a congregant or a B’nai Mitzvah is always relevant and insightful. You even have the opportunity to come to the Torah during the congregational aliyah. Many just want to sit and meditate; some come to help celebrate with the B’nai Mitzvah family Some come to observe a Yahrzeit. And many come because it’s tradition.

The bottom line is that there are countless reasons to come to Shabbat services, but I can’t think of one reason why not to attend. Come! It’s habit forming.

Wednesday Evening Minyan

Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm, a devoted group of people come together to pray the afternoon/evening service. While many come to say Kaddish, others just come to pray, and to meet others who share the value of frequent prayer in their lives.

The men, women, and children who gather for prayer are regularly led by Roselyn Baum, an active TBK member and often by David Orange. Roselyn and David started the Minyan several years ago. It was a wonderful idea, whose size and spirit continue to attract new participants. David also conducts Reform worship services at the Jewish Home and St. John's Home. Michael Miller and Kevin Penberg also lead the Minyan if Roselyn is away. Our warmest thanks to Roz, David, Michael and Kevin for their continuing service.

Volunteers to serve as leaders when needed would be helpful. A knowledge of some Hebrew would be useful. If you are interested in volunteering to occasionally lead a service, please call the Temple office.

New participants are always welcome! Please join us in the Atrium every Wednesday from 5:30 -6:00 p.m.

Shabbat Shalom!

We say these words every week to greet others at Temple; to wish them hopes for a peaceful and joyful Sabbath. How do we go about celebrating a peaceful and joyful Shabbat for ourselves, perhaps with friends, and family?

The Union for Reform Judaism sends us these simple ideas for celebrating called 18 Little Things you can Do for Shabbat.

1. Invite friends.
2. Ask guests to prepare a Shabbat blessing, song or story.
3. Set a special table for Shabbat dinner.
4. Use a special tablecloth.
5. Arrange fresh flowers in your home.
6. Polish the silver.
7. Pour a nice wine.
8. Bake or buy a challah.
9. Give thanks for the blessings of the week.
10. Light Shabbat candles.
11. Read a Shabbat prayer - then read it again.
12. Say blessings over the wine and challah.
13. Sing some nice Shabbat songs.
14. Listen to the quiet peace of a dinner at home - without phone, TV or radio.
15. Take a Shabbat walk and a Shabbat nap.
16. Be open to moments of wonder and of soulful encounter.
17. Pause for a moment as Shabbat ends on Saturday night. Sing havdalah.
18. Look forward to next week's Shabbat celebration.

Try several of these suggestions each week and see what gives you the joy and peace of Shabbat!