When You Visit…
Would you like to visit us? We know that “first time visits” can be a little intimidating… With that in mind, we’ve prepared this information to help familiarize you with our Shabbat (Sabbath) service.
The Psalms invite us to “praise the Lord in the dance” …so we do! Many of our congregants find the medium of dance a joyful and fulfilling way of expressing their worship of God. We invite you to attend one of our regular dance workshops – which are geared especially for beginners – to try your hand (and feet) at this ancient form of praise.
You’ll notice that some of the songs and liturgy in our service will be presented in both Hebrew and English. Usually, these Hebrew verses are taken directly from the Hebrew Scriptures, and are cherished components of Jewish worship. For example, the “Sh’ma” is a direct quote from Deut. 6:4, and has long been the central statement of faith among Jewish worshipers. You are invited to join us in these Hebrew praises. We’ve transliterated them for that very purpose!
In Jewish tradition, those mourning the loss of a loved one will stand and recite the mourner’s kaddish. While the kaddish is a prayer of praise and Messianic hope, over the years it has become a mourner’s prayer; however, it is not a prayer for the dead. The words of the kaddish teach us to praise the Lord in the midst of every situation in life. When Job learned of the death of his children he said, “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. (Job 1:21).” Please feel free to stand and join in the reciting of the kaddish or you may remain seated and silently pray for those around you who are standing.
Toward the middle of our service, the sefer torah (book of the law) – a beautiful, century-old scroll meticulously handwritten on animal parchment – will be removed from the ark and a prescribed portion read in Hebrew and English. The scroll contains the first five Books of the Bible, the Books of Moses. At this point, one of our congregants will read a related passage from the brit chadasha (New Covenant Scriptures). We do this for two reasons: First, to acknowledge the Torah as the foundation of our faith and practice; secondly, to celebrate the harmony that exists between the Torah and the New Covenant Scriptures.
At the start of our Torah service you will see a scroll processional around the sanctuary, followed by the Son of David kinder (children). The children will then gather under a large tallit (prayer shawl) – a Biblical symbol of God’s commandments (Numbers 15:37-39) – where we will pray for them. The processional and canopy are meant to impress upon our children’s hearts and minds the cherished value of following and living under the wisdom and guidance of God’s Word. And because we cherish our children also, we take time to pray for them each Shabbat.
God’s love for children is evident throughout the Scriptures, and His love is purpose-driven, for “He seeks godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15). From toddlers to teens, the youth at Son of David Congregation are being nurtured in the Word of God. Each Shabbat, at the beginning of our Torah Service, our children (ages 3-12) are dismissed for class, to a caring teacher who engages them in a curriculum which is both Bible-centered and Messianic. Our purpose for Shabbat school is simply this: To build Godly character in our children, and to provide a nurturing environment which fosters a love for God and for each other through the study of Scripture. Nursery care is also provided (infants – 3 years).
After service, stop by our Newcomers Nook to chat with one of our leaders, then join us in the fellowship hall for an oneg shabbat (bagels and fellowship). Please join us… It’s a great opportunity to shmooze and to meet some of the folks at Son of David. Thanks for worshiping with us today!