Our Services involve a mixture of English and Hebrew, for which transliterations are supplied. Fluency in Hebrew is not necessary or expected. Musical leadership is supplied at all Shabbat services, either by Jewish musical professionals or member volunteers. We encourage individuals to make services more meaningful for both themselves and the congregation by participating in reading prayers, singing songs, and other service activities. Each service also contains opportunities to perform various Shabbat Traditions. Please consult with the Greeter at the entrance to the Sanctuary if you are interested in participating in a Shabbat Tradition.
All Shabbat services are followed by an Oneg Shabbat (“Shabbat Joy”), where everyone partakes in refreshments, conversation and the opportunity to renew existing friendships and begin new ones. Temple member families host Oneg Shabbat, on a rotating basis.
Each month, we hold the following Shabbat services:
Friday Evening Family Shabbat Service
On the first Friday of each month we hold a Family Shabbat Service. This service starts earlier, at 7:00 p.m., to encourage the participation of families with younger children. We use many songs that students learn and become familiar with during Religious School. While we use a special abbreviated prayer book, there is a Torah service and an opportunity for all participants to view the Torah’s beautiful script as it is read. The Family Shabbat Service also feature an ice-cream sundae Oneg!
Friday Evening Shabbat Services
This is our traditional Friday evening Torah service. We join in song for the Shabbat prayers and then read from the Torah. The service leader provides a D’var Torah on the significance of the weekly Torah portion, followed by the concluding prayers.
Saturday Morning Shabbat Service
This service, typically held on the third Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m., emphasizes learning the origin, significance and meaning of particular prayers. The D’var Torah discussion between the congregation and the service leader provides an opportunity for interaction and learning that deepens out knowledge of the weekly Torah portion and its relevance to our lives.
Friday Evening Kabbalat Shabbat Service
Our Kabbalat Shabbat service features more prayer through music than our traditional Friday Evening Torah service. Kabbalat Shabbat includes the six psalms representing the six days of the week, transitioning to Lecha Dodi, where we literally greet the Shabbat Bride. The remainder of the service contains traditional Friday night prayers, although we sometimes sing them to different melodies. Because we focus more on greeting Shabbat, this service does not include a Torah reading.
B’nei Mitzvah Service
We also periodically have the opportunity to observe and participate in the special coming-of-age ritual of b’nei mitzvah. These Shabbat services are significant events in the lives of students and their families, and are particularly special in the outpouring of love and support from their friends and our community. This is a mitzvah that we can perform, as all of us are important participants in this rite of passage. We always look forward to sharing the experience as we pray together and offer mazel tov to our newest Jewish adults.
Information for Visitors
Is this your first time visiting Temple Beth Or? Please take a few minutes to introduce yourself to us, so we can greet you.
Because Shabbat is a day of rest, when no business is transacted, synagogues do not pass a “collection plate” or accept donations at services. Visitors are not expected to bring anything with them, except a kippah (a yarmulke, or skull cap), if they own one – Temple Beth Or provides extra kippot for visitors.
There is no formal dress code for services, but we do ask that your clothing reflect your respect for the special nature of the sanctuary. Kippot (yarmulkes) and tallitot are available for those who choose to wear them. Children are welcome at all services. Parents are asked to be mindful of their children’s behavior during times of worship.