Since the early second century, the Torah has been largely neglected by the Body of Messiah. Kehilat Sar Shalom affirms the view expressed in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Torah defines sin and points us toward righteousness and godliness. We believe that the Torah needs to be recognized as God’s eternal standard of righteousness, and desire to see its restoration to its place of prominence and authority within the believing community. We further believe and acknowledge that the Torah, God’s instruction, is a symbol of Yeshua, who is the Living Word.
The liturgy consists of the prayers and blessings leading up to and following the reading/chanting from the Torah scroll. The person who is reading the liturgy is responsible for leading the congregation through our Torah service. This person must possess the skill and ability to read the appropriate prayers in Hebrew.
The liturgical portion of our service currently consists of the following prayers. See and listen to them here.
The Living Word
Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4)
V’ahavta (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)
Blessing before Torah Reading
Blessing after Torah Reading
V’zot Ha Torah
Etz Chayim Hee
It is currently the Rabbi that is responsible for the following liturgical prayers:
V’zot Ha Torah
Etz Chayim Hee
As the ministry grows, it is the desire of Kehilat Sar Shalom for someone who is interested in the position of Gabbai/Cantor to perform these prayers. The role will primarily continue to be performed by the Rabbi until the position is filled. Also, if someone has the desire and skill to perform these prayers on a rotating schedule, please see the Rabbi or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Living Word
Blessing before the Torah Reading
Blessing after the Torah Reading
These prayers would be performed by one person each Shabbat. If someone has the desire and skill to perform these prayers on a rotating schedule, please see the Rabbi.
This ministry will consist of two people, the Hagbah and the G’lilah. Each position will have different responsibilities, but both will serve as “guards” of the Torah.
Open door of the ark
Process the Torah through congregation
Holds Torah while G’lilah undresses
Places Torah on reading table
Serves as guard of Torah during the reading
Lifts Torah for V’zot Ha Torah prayer
Holds Torah while G’lilah dresses
Places Torah in ark
Closes door of ark
Open partition of the ark
Undress Torah and remove Yod
Removes garter from Torah and places Mantle on top the scroll
Serves as guard of Torah during reading
Places garter back on Torah
Dresses Torah with Mantle and replaces Yod
Closes partition in ark
Both positions will be charged with the protection and the guarding of the Torah during the service. Each person will flank the Torah as they serve as “Watchmen over the Word,” to ensure that no one touches the scroll with their hands.
Three aliyot are reserved for those in the congregation that are asked to do a reading. Each person is honored with an aliyah (singular of aliyot) and is invited to the bimah for a scriptural reading consisting of the Torah, Haftarah, and B’rit Chadashah parashiot. Currently the readings are available for those who would like to participate each Shabbat. The verses are available on the table right outside the entrance doors to the sanctuary. The Rabbi will continue to select which parashiot are to be read.
The ark will be set in place at the front of the congregation each Shabbat by someone who is serving on the Torah Ministry, right before the service begins. This honor will be on a rotational basis for those who are serving on the Torah Ministry.
Those who are interested in serving in the Torah Ministry will need to attend a class to learn more about the traditions and practices that are involved in the Torah service. This class will consist of instruction as to the order of the service, the Hebrew prayers and the handling of the Torah itself. Once the class is completed and approval for service given by the Rabbi, congregants who choose to participate in the ministry will be added to the rotational schedule. Those who are serving on a particular week will be responsible for set-up and tear-down of the Torah Ministry items.