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Greeting Each Other at Shabbat Services

July 22, 2015

An Interfaith-Inclusive Reading for Clergy to Welcome a Congregation on Shabbat

Welcome to our synagogue on this Sabbath eve.

We each come here tonight with different needs, different moods, different hopes and expectations. Each Friday as the sun goes down, we come together in community. And it’s such a blessing that we are an eclectic community when we gather here.

Everyone is welcome and valued here tonight: Jews, people of other faiths, secular folks, intermarried families, straight, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, single or partnered, students, seniors, and people who don’t like labels and categories.

As we greet the Sabbath together, we are all equally treasured by the Holy One. Each of us is a unique and beloved soul held in the weave of Life, touched by the Divine Mystery. We each carry our own search for solace, and we are all invited to receive the sweet comfort of Shabbat.

Eternal One, help us make this sanctuary a place of love and mutual respect, of dignity and welcoming, of appreciation of everyone here exactly as they are.
I’d like to ask now if everyone would please take a moment to greet someone near you, to say Shabbat Shalom – may you have a peaceful Sabbath – and welcome one another.

-adapted from a prayer by IFF/Bay Area's Rabbi Mychal Copeland

Hebrew for "Sabbath [of] peace," a greeting on the Jewish Sabbath. Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." The Jewish Sabbath, from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday. Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation.

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