One of the concluding prayers of our worship service. It is typically chanted as the ark is open, clergy in front of ark and congregation standing. There is choreography associated with this prayer of a sustained bow.
This is the first blessing in the Amidah, following a short opening verse. This prayer praises God and acknowledges our forefathers and foremothers. Individuals bow twice during this prayer.
This prayer is the official call to worship. It falls early in the service after opening songs and psalms. It is a call and response prayer where the leader says the first line and the entire congregation answers. Each time we say barchu or baruch, individuals will bow.
BLESSING BEFORE HAFTARAH
This is the blessing recited prior to the reading of Haftarah which falls during the Torah service on Shabbat. The Haftarah reading is usually a selection from the book of Prophets that corresponds in theme to the weekly Torah portion or Jewish holiday.
BLESSING AFTER HAFTARAH
This is the blessing recited after the reading of Haftarah which falls during the Torah service on Shabbat. The Haftarah reading is usually a selection from the book of Prophets that corresponds in theme to the weekly Torah portion or Jewish holiday.
BLESSING BEFORE TORAH
This blessing is recited prior to the reading of a section of Torah. It praises God and has a call and response portion. It is considered an honor to recite the blessing prior to and after the reading of Torah. These two blessings plus the Torah reading itself makes up what is called an aliyah.
BLESSING AFTER TORAH
This blessing is recited after the reading of a section of Torah. It praises God for giving us the Torah. It is considered an honor to recite the blessing prior to and after the reading of Torah. These two blessings plus the Torah reading itself makes up what is called an aliyah.
We sing the blessing over the candles as we enter Shabbat and Jewish holidays. On Jewish holidays the ending of the blessing will be different. By lighting the candles we are welcoming in Shabbat. The candles are lit prior to saying the blessings, and you will notice people covering their eyes after lighting during the recitation of this prayer. As we are not allowed to kindle fire on Shabbat, it is a moment where we technically bless after performing the task. Traditionally one blesses prior to the task. Thus, when we uncover our eyes it is almost like a miracle that the candles are now lit. Reciting the blessing over the candles is often an honor given out to members of the congregation.
This section is a series of concluding lines from a variety of blessings within a service. Each blessing typically concludes with the formula Baruch atah Adonai….Blessed are You, Adonai…. Many times in our service we offer blessings in English and conclude with the chatimah (singular for chatimot).
This prayer signifies a division between one section of the service and another. We recite some for of kaddish between the opening part of the service and the call to worship, as well as, at the conclusion of the service. In many communities, it is recited additional times. We will often chant this melody just prior to the barchu.
This is technically not a prayer, but a section from our Talmud Shabbat. It may be shared following the blessing for the study of Torah. It speaks to things for which the fruits of which may be enjoyed in this world and may also earn merit for the world to come. These items include honoring one’s mother and father, rejoicing with the bride and groom, visiting the sick and more…. the reading concludes with “and the study of Torah is equal to them all.”
This is the second blessing recited in the amidah following the avot and imahot prayer. Its overarching theme speaks to God’s might and divine power over the earth and all life. In addition, in Reform prayer books it includes a reference to spiritual immortality. There is an inserted portion that changes depending if the season is fall/winter or spring/summer.
This is the third blessing in the amidah. It is slightly different in the morning and afternoon from the evening. In the morning it is call and response, resembling angels calling back and forth declaring the sanctity of God. It is much shorter in the evening, simplifying the praising of God and God’s holiness. This version is the longer one recited during our Shabbat morning service.
The word kiddush comes from a root word meaning sacred / set apart and distinguished. We recite kiddush over a glass of wine marking a moment in time as sacred. This longer version is offered in the evening on Friday night, and a shorter version is recited on Shabbat morning.
This blessing comes from Numbers chapter 24 where Balaam blesses the Israelites even though he was asked to curse them. It also contains several verses from Psalms. It is often sung near the beginning of morning prayer services.
This is the blessing recited prior to the eating of a meal. A meal would include the eating of bread, and thus it is said over a whole loaf (often challah) of bread. After the blessing is recited, those who say it would eat a bite of bread.
The mourner’s kaddish or kaddish yatom is the kaddish shared at the conclusion of the service. While it praises God and life, we share names of those who are no longer alive who have died recently, within the past 11 months, or upon the anniversary of the death. This prayer is read and not chanted.
This peace blessing is often sung at the end amidah during evening prayers. This particular version is a favorite in our community and familiar to many. It is here that we ask God to bless God’s people with peace and endow us with the ability to bring it about on this earth.
The shecheyanu blessing is shared the first time one does something, such as starting a new Jewish year, the first night of Chanukah, or marking a particularly joyful occasion. We may share this blessing during a bar or bat mitzvah service.
The sh’ma blessing is part of the second rubric of a prayer service. The words come straight from Deuteronomy 6:4 and declare God’s oneness, a central tenet of the Jewish faith. The shema is three paragraphs in length, but these six words are the essence of bearing witness to God’s Oneness. There is a reply to the six words that are inspired by the words of Nechemiah.
SH’MA / ECHAD
This version of the shema is recited at the time we take the Torah out of the ark. The response line is different from the version of shema we recite earlier in the service.
This peace blessing is often sung at the end amidah during morning prayers. This particular version is a favorite in our community and familiar to many. It is here that we ask God to bless God’s people with peace and endow us with the ability to bring it about on this earth.
Prior to wrapping the tallit upon one’s shoulders this blessing is recited. We are commanded to place fringes on the corners of our garments in the book of Numbers.
The word v’ahavta is a command to love God and asks us to love with our whole hearts and souls. To teach God’s commandments to one’s children and to live them as we go out into the world and come home. It is chanted right after the words of shema and is technically a part of the shema blessing. You will also find these words in a mezuzah.
This special blessing is recited only in daytime services. It praises God who is the master over all the universe. It emphasizes creation and specifically the creation of heavenly lights.
Temple Beth Hillel’s clergy offer sermons that address tikkun olam (healing the world) and tikkun atzmi (healing the self.)
Please read these sample sermons, then attend our weekly services for the wisdom and support of our k’hilah (community).
Rabbi Hronsky’s Yom Kippur Sermon
From Germany to America, to No Longer;
Call Out the Antisemitism of Today!