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Shabbat Services Rabbi Paul J Jacobson Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney.

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Presentation on theme: "Shabbat Services Rabbi Paul J Jacobson Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shabbat Services Rabbi Paul J Jacobson Emanuel Synagogue, Sydney

2 What is Prayer? The Hebrew word for prayer is t’filah Based on the Hebrew l’hitpaleil – meaning to reflect on oneself, or to take an account of oneself/one’s actions Four types: (1) Petition (2) Thanksgiving (3) Praise of God (4) Self-searching/confessional

3 Why Prayer? It is true that at times I pray only because it my duty to obey the Jewish law that requires me to pray. But there are also times that I pray because I sincerely want to pray. …Such moments come to me occasionally, but they come. Sometimes it is when I am in distress or when I feel lonely and isolated from all the world. Sometimes it is when I feel anxious about the safety or health of loved ones, or when my people are being threatened. At such moments my cry is likely to be accompanied by a shed tear, a pained heart, a feeling of despair. Sometimes it is when a great sense of relief comes over me, or when truly joyous news exhilarates me and makes me ecstatic. Then my cry is apt to accompanied by a sense of exuberance and by a feeling of gratefulness. Whether God will accept my prayers and affirmatively respond to them, I do not know. That God hears my prayers, I firmly believe! (Rabbi Hayim HaLevy Donin)

4 Origins of Prayer Biblical text Temple times Rabbinic tradition (post destruction of 2 nd temple) Constructed around the public declamation of Scripture Development of the Siddur / Shaliach or Sh’lichat Tzibur

5 The Siddur The siddur is a vast repository of all the principles of Jewish faith, a record of both the great victories and tragic defeats Israel has known in its long history. It is a testimony of the aspirations and hopes of the Jewish people throughout time. It is witness to the ethical and moral heights to which Jewry aspired and attained. It is a reminder of laughter and gaiety, of celebration and rejoicing, as well as of sorrow and grief, of mourning and bemoaning that takes place in the life of the individual as in the life of an entire people. The siddur provides insights into daily Jewish living as well as into all the special occasions and festivals in the Jewish calendar. It contains Biblical passages that date as far back as 3300 years; prayers composed by the Sages as long as 2500 years ago. While most of the prayers are hallowed by their biblical and Talmudic origins, there will also be found some that have been written since. The Siddur is study as well as prayer. It is moral instruction and ethical guidance as well as pleas for personal needs. It emphasises man’s duties as well as his rights. It is the record par excellence of Israel’s relationship with God.

6 When Did Our Ancestors Pray? Based on times of sacrifice in the temple (daily, Shabbat, festival) Morning & Afternoon (later, evening prayers were instituted too) Rabbinic tradition suggests the times of prayer for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob …therefore…

7 Purpose of the Synagogue Beit T’fila (House of Prayer) Beit Midrash (House of Study) Beit K’nesset (House of Gathering)

8 Contemporary Times for Prayer Three Services Daily (1) Evening (Ma’ariv/Arvit) (2) Morning (Shacharit) (3) Afternoon (Mincha) On Shabbat, Festivals, Rosh Chodesh (start of Jewish month), and Intermediate Days of Festivals we add (4) Musaf (Additional Prayer) On Yom Kippur we add (5) Neilah (Gates)

9 Structure of Prayer Evening Service: I.Shema & Its Blessings (Creation, Revelation, SHEMA, Redemption, Prayer for Evening Peace) II.Amidah 19 Blessings (Ancestry – God’s Powers – Sanctifying God’s Name – 13 Petitionary Blessings – Prayer for Worship – Thanksgiving -- Gratitude

10 Structure of Prayer Morning Service: I.Birkhot Ha-Shakhar (Morning Blessings) II.P’sukei d’Zimra (Verses of Praise) III.Sh’ma & Its Blessings (Creation, Revelation, SHEMA, Redemption) IV.Amidah (19 Blessings) V.Tachanun (Personal Prayers) VI. Torah Reading (Monday/Thursday) VII.Concluding Prayers

11 Structure of Prayer Afternoon Service Psalm Amidah (19 Blessings) Concluding Prayers

12 Differences in Prayer - Shabbat & Festivals Kabbalat Shabbat (receiving the Sabbath) Only 7 prayers in the Amidah (only petition is for peace) Longer P’sukei d’Zimra Longer Torah reading Musaf (Additional Prayer)

13 Services in the Synagogue: Gender ORTHODOX - Men & Women sit separately - Time-bound mitzvoth/commandments for men and women - Men & women considered equals but given different roles by God and tradition REFORM - Gender neutrality in worship/seating (family pews), egalitarian participation and leadership CONSERVATIVE - Similar in notion of gender inclusivity to Progressive movement but halakhically based, mostly mixed seating, some separate seating **Ancestral prayer in R & C includes matriarchs (Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, Rachel) as well as patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob)

14 Shabbat Services: Some Differences REFORM Usually begins with candle-lighting in synagogue (designed for those who may not observe much of Jewish practice at home) Often uses musical instruments Will sometimes read Torah on Friday nights/shorter Torah reading Combination of Hebrew and English No musaf service on Shabbat CONSERVATIVE Musical instruments creeping their way in… Combination of Hebrew and English (most communities) Triennial/Annual Torah Reading

15 Services: Morning Blessings Orthodox Text: -Who has not made me a “person of another nation” -Who has not made me a slave -Who has not made me a woman (women recite: Who has made me according to His will) Reform/Conservative Text: -Who has made me a Jew -Who has made me a free person -Who has made me in God’s image

16 Services: The Sh’ma Three traditional paragraphs – Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Deuteronomy 11:13-21, Numbers 15:37-41 Tradition to sit during recitation Conservative practice affirms this custom Reform practice is changing -1 st P & end of 3 rd P -All three P’s -Sitting vs. Standing

17 Services: First Blessing of the Amidah Orthodox prayer mentions only the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac & Jacob Reform prayer mentions Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah & Rachel Conservative prayer provides the option of reciting either just the patriarchs or the patriarchs together with the matriarchs

18 Services: First Blessing of the Amidah Orthodox prayer mentions that G-d will send a go-eil, a redeemer Conservative prayer retains the use of this word Reform prayer changes the word to g’ulah – acknowledging that G-d will send a time of redemption, not an individual person

19 Services: Second Blessing of the Amidah M’chayyei ha-meitim, God’s powers include the ability to provide life to the dead What does this mean? Conservative prayer affirms this practice Reform prayer includes both m’chayyei ha-meitim and m’chayyei ha-kol (G-d gives life to everything)

20 Services: Seventeenth Weekday Blessing of the Amidah or Fifth Blessing on Shabbat/Festivals Orthodox text -- ishei Yisrael, one of our prayers is for the reestablishment of the Temple in Jerusalem and the reinstitution of sacrificial offerings Conservative practice has eliminated this ideology, though some scholars are trying to reintegrate this text, believing it can acknowledge the “passion” of individual Jews Reform practice makes no mention of these words in this prayer

21 Services: Last Blessing of the Amidah Traditional text includes the word amecha – “Your people Israel” Conservative text affirms this practice Reform text often includes the phrase “v’al kol ha’amim” – “upon all of the people everywhere”

22 Closing Thoughts Shimon Ha-Tzadik -The world rests on three things – on Torah, on service of God, on deeds of love (Avot 1:2). Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa: When one’s good deeds exceed one’s wisdom, that wisdom will be enduring, but when one’s wisdom exceeds one’s good deeds, that wisdom will not be enduring (Avot 3:12).

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