Shabbat – This Week

*glossary of terms listed below

Photography by Mina Ao

candle lighting 5/26/17  7:59 pm

Parshat Bemidbar

Numbers 1:1-4:20
haftarah-Hosea- 2:1-22

Torah readers–   Sandy Gordon, Randy Weinstein, Judy Benstein, Jessica Friedman, Carol Green, Leon Ashner, Evelyn Litwinoff

haftarah– Judy Benstein

kehillah gabbai– Lew Freedman

gabbaim– Carol Green and Sandy Gordon

mincha–  ~1:00 pm



Pseukei D’Zimra- (verses of song). These verses of song include a lengthy selection of psalms and passages  chosen precisely to increase the kavvanah, or spiritual focus, of the one who is praying. These readings are sandwiched between an opening and closing blessing separated by the numerous exerpts from the Bible. The opening blessing is named after its first line, Barukh Sh’amar, or “Blessed is the One who spoke.” Barukh Sh’amar consists of 11 different attributes of God, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Rewarder, beginning with the word barukh, blessed. The opening blessing of this section states, “Blessed are you, Adonai our God, King, extolled with songs of praise.”

Chief Gabbai – the person who ensures that the prayer services run smoothly.

Gabbaim– Gabbai A is responsible for calling congregants up to the Torah and follows the reader to be sure the correct trop (cantillation) and words are read correctly and Gabbai B makes sure the Torah is covered at the proper times, follows the reading and assists the person called up for the honor of reciting the blessings before and after the Torah reading.

Haftarah– reading from the book of the Prophets

Shacharit–  Shacharit is the daily morning service. The word Shacharit comes from the Hebrew word Shachar, or morning. Shacharit was invented by Abraham, the first Jew.


mincha– Mincha was originated by Isaac. It is composed of the recitation of Psalm 145, the Amidah, a prayer of repentance and the concluding prayer to all Jewish prayer services, Aleynu. Aleynu is a reaffirmation of Jewish goals and a hope for the better world for all humankind.  This service is ~ 20 minutes.

Ma’ariv– Maariv was instituted by Jacob. He first started reciting the prayer after he fled from his homeland, and as a result, the prayer service has become associated with trust in God. The word Maariv is the first significant word in the opening blessing of the evening service. It is derived from the Hebrew word erev, which translates to evening. Maariv is a conversion of this word into a verb, which means “bringing on night.” “Arvit” is the noun form of this word.

Havdalah–  a Ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Shabbat and holidays, and ushers in the new week. Shabbat ends on Saturday night after the appearance of three stars in the sky. Havdalah is recited over kosher wine or grape juice. A special braided Havdalah candle with more than one wick is lit, and a prayer is recited. It is customary to gaze at one’s fingernails reflecting the light of the candle. Spices, often stored in a decorative spice container, are handed around so that everyone can smell the fragrance