Understanding The Shabbat Service

Understanding the Shabbat Service

If this is your first time here, welcome!

Temple Beth Orr is a multi-generational and multi-ethnic egalitarian Reform congregation founded in 1975, made up of singles, couples, and interfaith and gay and lesbian families. We joyfully include everyone!

Please note: We value the worship experience and request that everyone respect the sanctity of the service. Please turn cell phones off or on silent mode and limit conversation.

“Egalitarian” means that we do not segregate or assign different roles to men and women in our congregation. “Reform” refers to one of the three major movements within Judaism. While our siddur (prayer book) is different from what you might see in a Conservative or Orthodox synagogue, the major elements of the service are the same the world over. Likewise, on this Shabbat (Sabbath), all Jews will read from the same portion of the Torah.

The Sanctuary
The raised section at the front of the sanctuary is called the bima. In the middle of the bima is the ark containing the Torah scrolls. It is located on the Eastern wall so that when we face it, we face Jerusalem. Above the ark is the ner tamid, the “eternal light,” a symbol of the lamp in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.

The ark doors are opened in conjunction with specific prayers during the service. At these times we ask the congregation to rise as able. (While you are free to come and go during the service, we ask that if possible you refrain from doing so while the ark is open.)

The Shabbat Service
In Jewish tradition a rabbi is a teacher, not a priest. Our services are usually led by a rabbi and a cantor (who is responsible for the music), but we sometimes have lay leaders as well – including our young people who are becoming bar or bat mitzvah (literally, son or daughter of the commandment.)

Our rabbis, lay leaders, and musicians are worshipping with us, not performing for us. To show appreciation we do not applaud; we wish them strength by saying Ya‐sher ko‐ach (loosely translated as “well done”).

On both Friday nights and Saturday mornings, the basic structure of the service is the same. We start with a wordless song or chant called a niggun. The melodies are simple but elegant, intended to create a frame of mind for worship and reflection.

Because a day on the Jewish calendar starts at sunset, we mark the beginning of Shabbat on Friday evenings by lighting candles, accompanied by a prayer. While many families do this at home, it is our tradition to also light candles in the synagogue.

The Friday evening service is called Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the Sabbath). Jewish mystics of the Middle Ages envisioned Shabbat as a bride. On Friday nights we sing “L’cha Dodi” – “Beloved, come to greet the bride; come to greet Shabbat.” At the last verse we rise, turn to the door of the sanctuary, and bow to welcome her.

On Saturday mornings, the first part of the service is a series of songs and blessings praising God. We give thanks for our souls and for the miracle of the human body.

Following the introductory songs is a call to worship known as the Bar’chu. It is a call and response prayer – the leader chants the first line; the congregation responds with the second. As the line is chanted, we bend the knee and bow.

The Bar’chu opens the section of the service that contains the central prayer of Judaism: Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu,
Adonai Echad. (“Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God; Adonai is one.”)

The next section of prayers is called the Tefillah (literally “prayer”) or Amidah (“standing,” because in some traditions the entire section is said while standing). We chant or read the first several prayers together. Congregants read the rest of the prayers silently, or may substitute their own prayers for those in the prayer book. We sit down when we complete our individual prayers.

Following silent prayer is the Torah service. The Torah is taken from the ark, we repeat the Sh’ma, and then the Torah is carried around the sanctuary. As the Torah comes around you will see people reach out to touch it, either with the corner of their tallit (prayer shawl) or their prayer book. This is a tangible expression of our respect for and engagement with Torah.

Our practice is to read or chant only a small section of the weekly Torah portion. A congregant is called up to the bima to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading. After the Torah reading and before the Torah is put away, we recite a prayer for healing, the Mi Shebeirach.

As part of the ritual of returning the Torah to the ark, a congregant will raise the scroll overhead and turn it so the writing can be seen by the entire congregation. The scroll is then lowered and dressed.

The concluding portion of the service begins with the Aleinu, which confirms the oneness of God. Following that is the Mourner’s Kaddish, an opportunity to remember those who passed away during the preceding week and month (periods marked by intense mourning), as well as those who passed away at this time in previous years.

The service closes with a song, followed by Kiddush and Motzi, blessings over wine/grape juice and challah (bread), respectively, in the Breezeway directly outside the sanctuary.

Being Respectful During Services
We treat our worship space with respect and love. Please do not place prayer books on the floor and refrain from eating, drinking or gum-chewing in our sanctuary. Please dress respectfully when called to the bima. All photography/ videography is limited to the use of a tripod beyond the last row of seating and must be silent.

Kabbalat Shabbat Services at TBO
At Temple Beth Orr, our first Friday of the month is “Celebration Shabbat” including birthday blessings. The second Friday is a standard service. The third Friday is our musical “Shabbat Experience,” and the last Friday of the month is “Torah Shabbat” which includes a Torah service.

* wording adapted with permission from Temple Beth Am in Seattle, WA.

Michelle RossUnderstanding The Shabbat Service
read more

Please Join Us As We Visit Rabbi Rick Jacobs

There will be no Torah study and services at Temple Beth Orr on Saturday, February 13th. Instead, please join Rabbi Loving at Congregation Kol Tikvah as we learn from the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Rick Jacobs. He will be leading Torah study there at 8:45am and services at 10am. Congregation Kol Tikvah is located at 6750 N University Dr, Parkland, FL 33076.

Michelle RossPlease Join Us As We Visit Rabbi Rick Jacobs
read more

The NFTY Kallah Experience

From one of our members, Jeannine Cotler:
I cannot say enough positive things about NFTY, NFTY-STR and the wonderful experiences that come with being a member of a TYG (temple youth group). Leah had so much to share about her fantastic Hatikvah Kallah weekend. She loved the programs, making new friends, seeing some familiar faces, and the care and generosity of her host family. THANK YOU to everyone who made Hatikvah Kallah 2016 possible!

From the NFTY website:
NFTY is a Movement that builds strong, welcoming, inspired communities through teen-powered engagement. Together, we pursue tikkun olam, personal growth, youth empowerment, and deep connections, all rooted in Reform Judaism.

The Southern Tropical Region of NFTY serves Jewish Teens from central Florida to the Keys. We work in partnership with Union for Reform Judaism affiliated congregations to provide meaningful Jewish experiences for middle and high school students.

NFTY-STR offers Reform, Jewish, high school students an opportunity to learn, worship, and create lifelong friendships within a youth-led environment. We work towards enlightening and educating our participants on historical and spiritual Judaism as well as social action and social justice. A large focus is on enhancing leadership skills, development, and social opportunities for all the participants.

Five times a year at least 275 – 330 teens from over 22 congregations get together to study the values of Reform Judaism. Fall Kallah, Hatikvah Kallah (specifically for 7th and 8th graders), Spring Kallah and LLTI (our leadership training weekend) are all held at host congregations. Our Winter Regional Convention is over Winter Break and is a hotel hosted event.
For more information on NFTY please visit nfty.org

Michelle RossThe NFTY Kallah Experience
read more

Birthright Israel Trip

News from Broward Jewish Federation:

On July 31st,  Broward Jewish Federation is sending it’s second annual 10-day Taglit-Birthright Israel trip in partnership with the South Palm Beach Jewish Federation & Amazing Israel (Routes).

As you may know, the Birthright project is a gift of a FREE TRIP TO ISRAEL to Jewish young adults, ages 18-26. Our community has invested in a South Florida Community bus for those applicants living here. During THIS SPECIFIC trip they are also joined by Israeli IDF soldiers in the same age range for TEN DAYS (instead of five like most other Birthright trips). We consider this Mifgash aspect to be an important part of connecting our young Jewish adults to Israel. Registration opened on Monday and will not be open for long.

Please help us fill our SOUTH FLORIDA COMMUNITY BUS with 40 Jewish participants ages *22-26!
To register, visit: http://www.amazingisrael.com/our-trips/ and CHOOSE: AMAZING ISRAEL COMMUNITY – SOUTH FLORIDA
REGISTER TODAY or please forward onto anyone who is eligible. This is an incredible opportunity – don’t let anyone miss out!

*We will make exceptions for younger participants(ages 18-21) if they express the desire to go with this older group or siblings on this bus.


Alona Geysman
Young Leadership Director & Israel Missions Coordinator
Jewish Federation of Broward County
5890 S. Pine Island Rd
Davie, FL 33328
(o) 954-252-6945
(f) 954-252-6892

Michelle RossBirthright Israel Trip
read more

Do You Have Expertise In An Area Of Building And Property Maintenance?

Temple Beth Orr would like to build a knowledge base, in the area of building and property maintenance, so that we can contact you when we have a question in your area of expertise. If you have the following expertise we would like to know who you are. Please contact us by leaving a comment below, or emailing us  HERE.

1. audio and visual services
2. audio and visual equipment consulting
3. building architecture
4. building construction
5. building electrical engineering
6. electrical contracting
7. HVAC contracting
8. broadband/internet
9. telephone consulting and/or systems
10. lighting consulting
12. plumbing
13. local zoning/politics
14. structural engineering for buildings
15. building contractor services
16. site lighting
17. landscaping
18. interior design for buildings
19. flooring installations and materials

Michelle RossDo You Have Expertise In An Area Of Building And Property Maintenance?
read more

Recipes from Jewish Communities Around The World – From Our Religious School Cooking Elective

The Jews of Morocco
For the past decade Morocco has enjoyed unprecedented stability under the rule of King Mohammed VI, who remains popular with his people despite developments in the region.

The millennia-old Jewish community of Morocco traces itself back to the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion from Spain in 1492. Rich with history and Sephardic tradition, Jewish life in Morocco today is strong and dynamic, with some 3,000 Jews living in Casablanca and smaller communities sprinkled throughout the country’s periphery.

Moroccan Chickpea Soup
3 tbl olive oil
1 large onion diced
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (use less if you do not like it too spicy – I used less when I made it for the kids)
1 tsp paprika
1 cup chopped tomatoes
3 – 15 oz cans chickpeas drained
1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock – I use Imagine Brank No chicken Stock
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbl butter (I do not add this)
1 – 2/1/2 oz package baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic. Do not brown. Add spices and sauté one minute. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, a couple of pinches of salt and 10 grinds of pepper. Stir well. Chickpeas should be covered by the liquid. If they are not add water or more stock. Bring to a simmer lower heat and simmer 45 minutes. (If you want to add the butter do it here) Remove from heat. Use a potato masher (I use and emersion blender) to mash some of the chickpeas. Stir in the spinach.

The Jews of China
The Kaifeng Jews are members of a small Jewish community in Kaifeng, in the Henan province of China who have assimilated into Chinese society while preserving some Jewish traditions and customs. Their origin and time of arrival in Kaifeng are a matter of debate among experts.
The establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel in 1992 rekindled interest in Judaism and the Jewish experience, especially in light of the fact that 25,000 Jewish refugees fled to Shanghai during the Nazi period.
It is difficult to estimate the number of Jews in China. The last census revealed about 400 official Jews in Kaifeng, now estimated at some 100 families totaling approximately 500 people. Up to 1,000 residents have ties to Jewish ancestry.
Some descendants of Kaifeng’s Jewish community say their parents and grandparents told them that they were Jewish and would one day “return to their land”, others are only vaguely aware of their ancestry.

Asian Noodle Bowl
½ small head of Napa Cabbage (about ¾ pound)
1 very small head boy choy – I use baby bok choy
8 cups chicken stock – I used imagine brand no chicken broth
1 boneless skinless chicken breast halves slices into very thin strips
¼ cup grated or shredded carrot – I bought a bag of shredded carrot
1 2.8 oz packet of ramen noodles – discard the seasoning packet
1 tablespoon mirin rice cooking wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 scallions sliced thin on the diagonal – for garnish

Thinly slice the cabbage and bok choy
Pour chicken stock into a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, carrots, cabbage and bok choy. Simmer for 5 minutes
Add ramen noodles and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the mirin and soy sauce
Garnish with scallions

If making ahead do everything up to the ramen noodles. They get gummy when you reheat it.
This makes 6 servings

The Jews of India
India, the world’s fastest growing economy and most populous democracy, is a colorful mosaic of coexisting cultures and faiths. India’s Jews—who trace their roots as far as 2,000 years back—are among them, openly practicing in larger communities in Mumbai and Thane and much smaller ones in cities including Pune, Gujarat (Ahmedabad), Kerala (Cochin), Delhi, Kolkata and the Konkan Villages.

Strawberry Lassi
· 1 16 oz bag of frozen strawberries
· 1 cup Greek yogurt
· 1⁄3 cup honey
· 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (optional)
· 1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom powder
· 1 cup ice, crushed – since I used frozen strawberries I used just a bit of water to thin the mixture.
Aloo Mutter
· olive oil flavored cooking spray and a little olive oil
· 1 teaspoon cumin seed
· 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
· 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
· 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
· 1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper
· 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
· 3 medium red potatoes, peeled, and cut into 2 inch squares
· 1 cup frozen peas
· 1 cup water
· 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped- optional
· 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
1. Spray saucepan and add a little olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion and stir fry for 1-2 minutes till golden brown.
3. Stir in tomatoes, salt, ground red pepper and turmeric, stir fry for 1-2 minutes till tomatoes are tender.
4. Stir in remaining ingredients, except the Garam Masaala, boil, then reduce to medium-low. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes until sauce is thick.
5. Add Garam Masaala.
6. This dish is best prepared one day ahead of time to allow the flavors to blend. Reheat in a 350 degree oven covered for 30 minutes
Stay tuned for where we go next!

Michelle RossRecipes from Jewish Communities Around The World – From Our Religious School Cooking Elective
read more

Mitzvah Day Blood Drive

Save a life and give blood at Mitzvah Day at Temple Beth Orr. ​Please follow the instructions and make an appointment so that Oneblood can properly staff this program. Go to https://www.oneblooddonor.org
Select “Find a Blood Drive” on the left side of the screen.
Enter 392 where it says “Enter your zip code or sponsor code” in the middle of the screen and press search.
Select Temple Beth Orr and then schedule one of the available appointments.

Michelle RossMitzvah Day Blood Drive
read more