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First time at Kehilat Sar Shalom?

If so, we want you to know how glad we are to see you!  We also know that “first times” can be a little intimidating… With that in mind, we’ve prepared this page to help familiarize you with our service.

Blowing of Horns

In ancient times, a shofar (ram’s horn) was blown to gather the people of God for an assembly. In like manner, we blow a shofar at the beginning of our service to let everyone know to gather in the sanctuary for worship.  Actually, the ram’s horn was used for a number of things in biblical times, so you may hear it blown at other times during the service as a signal to welcome the Messiah into our presence, or a call to battle, or just as a way to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.

Jewish Praise Dance

The Psalms invite us to “praise the Lord in the dance” … so we do!  Many of our congregants find the medium of dance a joyful and fulfilling way of expressing their worship of God. We invite you to attend one of our regular dance practices – which are geared especially for beginners – to try your hand (and feet) at this ancient form of praise.

Hebrew Songs and Liturgy

You’ll notice that some of the songs and liturgy in today’s service will be presented in both Hebrew and English.  Usually, these Hebrew verses are taken directly from the Hebrew scriptures, and are cherished components of Jewish worship. For example, the “Shema” is a direct quote from Deuteronomy 6:4, and has long been the central statement of faith among Jewish worshippers.  It was, in fact, quoted by the Messiah when he was asked about the greatest commandment of all. You are invited to join us in these Hebrew praises.  We’ve transliterated them for that very purpose!

The Torah Service

Toward the middle of our service, the Torah – a beautiful, century-old scroll meticulously handwritten on animal parchment – will be removed from the ark (its holding cabinet) and circulated throughout the congregation. The children are invited to be a part of this festive processional. A prescribed portion of the scroll will be read in Hebrew and English.  The scroll contains the first five Books of the Bible, the Books of Moses. We do this for two reasons: First, to reveal the Messiah of Israel in the Hebrew scriptures; secondly to acknowledge the Torah as the foundation of our faith and practice.

Shabbat School

God’s love for children is evident throughout the Scriptures, and His love is purpose-driven, for “He seeks godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15)  from toddlers to teens, the youth at Sar Shalom are being nurtured in the Word of God. Each shabbat, at the beginning of our Torah Service, our children (ages 4-teen) are dismissed for class down the hall to a caring teacher who engages them in a curriculum which is both Bible-centered and Messianic.  Our purpose for Shabbat school is simply this: To build godly character in our children, and to prove a nurturing environment which fosters a love for God and for each other through the study of scripture.

Please don’t rush off after the service!

After service, feel free to chat with our congregational Leader, Rabbi Neal Surasky, then join us for an Oneg Shabbat (Delight of the Sabbath) for food and fellowship.  It’s a great opportunity to schmooze and meet some of the folks at Sar Shalom.  Thanks for worshipping with us today!

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