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Shabbat: What To Expect At A Synagogue

Shabbat
Available in on-screen reading friendly (PDF) and printer-friendly, downloadable (PDF) versions.

For more booklets, visit our Booklets for People in Interfaith Relationships page.

The Sabbath is an every week holiday from work. This was a revolutionary concept in the ancient world where only the rich and powerful had any leisure time. Today in the frantic pace of the modern world it takes determination and discipline to accept this gift of leisure. Joining with a community will make the addition of this new habit easier.

But trying new things can be intimidating, especially when they are novel or foreign. What if the language is strange? What if there are different garb, rituals and customs? Recognizing that going to synagogue for the first time can be a challenge, we offer you our booklet, What To Expect At A Synagogue.

In it, you will find an overview of what Shabbat is, and how it is celebrated in synagogues. Language is explained, the prayer services are broken down, and many common questions are answered.

This is the perfect place to start for those who have questions or trepidation about going to synagogue for the first time.

This handy guide to Shabbat at the Synagogue can also be used to encourage guests and to guide them through the rhythm and rituals of Shabbat worship at a synagogue. Think of giving it...

  • out in new member packets;
  • to guests invited for a pre-wedding blessing, baby naming, or a bar/bat mitzvah;
  • to visiting church groups.
  • to parents, as an easy reintroduction when they come to Shabbat with their child's religious school class.
Hebrew for "daughter of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish girls come of age at 12 or 13. When a girl comes of age, she is officially a bat mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bat mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The male equivalent is "bar mitzvah."
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