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Ritual - Shabbat, High Holy Days, Festivals and Life Cycle Events

The richness of our programming depends greatly on the support of members giving their time and attention. Central to our observance is Shabbat and the Jewish holiday calendar, led by Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton.
Shabbat services are offered twice a month on Saturday mornings. OrH members and guests worship together, praying and chanting in Hebrew and English from Kol Haneshemah, the siddur of the Reconstructionist movement, as well as from supplementary readings and sources. The first Shabbat of the month is a traditional service, which includes blessings and songs, a Torah service with chanting from the scroll and our meaningful communal aliyot and a participatory discussion of the day’s portion. The third Shabbat of the month follows an alternative model. In 2019-20/5780 this includes:

Shabbat Limmud: An abbreviated complete service without chanting from the scroll, followed by extended study on the Torah portion, exploring traditional rabbinic, Hasidic and contemporary interpretations, as well as the insights of participants. Through Limmud Torah, we discover points of resonance between our lives and the Torah narrative that can inspire us.

Contemplative Shabbat: Through niggun (wordless melodies), song and chant, silence and reflection, and following the deep structure of the Shabbat morning service, we find inspiration, connection, and a sense of Shabbat menucha/Sabbath peace. Messages, kavanot and a teaching from the weekly torah portion are drawn from the wisdom of Hasidic masters and other inspirational sources.

All services are followed by a communal vegetarian potluck kiddush lunch.

On selected first and third Shabbats, following kiddush lunch, Rabbi Liz will lead Shabbat Beit Midrash - an open learning session on a range of study topics.
Like most congregations, OrH devotes a great deal of attention and effort to celebrating the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We also appropriately observe the three "major" holidays — Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot — including holding a congregational seder for Passover and building our own sukkah for the Festival of Booths. With member initiative we hold special events for popular holidays such as Simchat Torah, Hanukkah and Purim, as well as for lesser-known festivals such as Tu B'Shevat and Shavuot. Many of the festival programs feature musical accompaniment, which always infuses the events with special ruach (spirit). In the summer months we hold at least one outdoor Shabbat service.
Led by Rabbi Bolton, the OrH community celebrates bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, baby namings, marriages, conversions and other life-cycle events throughout the year.
The richness of our programming depends greatly on the support of members giving their time and attention.
Please visit our calendar and sign up for our member newsletter for up-to-date information on services and special events.
Tue, April 13 2021 1 Iyar 5781