We warmly welcome you to our Shabbat services. Whatever your background or experience, and wherever you are on your spiritual journey, we welcome you! We offer the following guidelines to help make your participationin Jewish communal worship more meaningful.
“But I don’t know Hebrew/ don’t know the melodies/can’t sing.”
Congregation Tikkun v’Or (Healing and Light) tries to strike a balancebetween Hebrew and English. We want to express and deepen our spirituality through sensory connection to our sacred language, but wealso want to know what we’re saying when we’re praying. And we want to stimulate as much engaged and inspired participation as possible.
If you find you’re “lost,” you can allow certain words or phrases (in English or Hebrew)—words that resonate for you or that catch your attention in some way—to enter your awareness. Let them become your ownpersonal focus for a few minutes. It can even be just the sound of aword or words.
Prayer and song are synonymous in Judaism. TvO’s leaders use melodiesfrom many different sources: TvO’s beginnings and previous leaders,the Chassidic repertoire, traditional prayer modes, the manytalented composers of sacred Jewish music of our own time, and original or non-traditional melodies we want to share.
Please don’t concern yourself with getting things right or how you sound. You can “la la la” or “dai dai dai” along without words as muchas you like. Join in freely. Open yourself to what you hear. Use the sounds you make to express howyou’re feeling.
Niggunim (wordless melodies) are spiritually and emotionally creativeexpressions of that which cannot be expressed in words.
We repeat some songs to encourage singing. We also chant sacred phrases over and over as a spiritual and meditative practice, a way to focus ou rattention and intention.
Silence is an integral part of Jewish worship. Please use the silences to focus yourself, to contemplate words or phrases that you’ve justsaid, sung, or heard. Try simply to be with yourself calmly and clearly,to experience this special time that you’ve set aside from your usualroutine.
For a few specific parts of the service we ask you to please not talkor whisper to anyone, not move around, and not enter or exit. These arethe Amidah (standing prayer), Torah Service, and Yizkhor (memorial prayer for the dead).
Children are especially welcome. Our leaders and members delight intheir presence at services. We commend and thank you for bringing them.
It’s fine if babies and young children occasionally make some noise. We only ask you to leave the sanctuary if a child continues to be audible to the congregation for a prolonged period or seems likely to continueloud disruptive outbursts. Feel free to nurse or feed your children. To settle young children we suggest books, art materials, quiet games, and lollipops. Children who can sit for only so long can leave and return quietly at appropriate times.
Please ask! Ask leaders, members, committee chairs, board members.
Speak to us after services, or call or email.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES, BEEPERS, AND WATCH ALARMS
Inquire about our classes for adults, Religious School, B’nei Mitzvah Program, Shabbat Pajama Storytime for young children, Shabbat services, holiday services, Community Shabbat dinners, Community Passover Seder, leadership for life cycle events, Social Action projects, Movie & Nosh Nights, and our many social, cultural, and educational events.
THANK YOU for joining us.