This outline is designed as a guide in following the flow of the Shabbat service. Page numbers refer to the Sim Shalom Siddur (the smaller, blue prayer book), unless otherwise noted.
Services begin at 9:00 am.
Please advise all persons who will be receiving an honour to arrive well before their honour will occur and identify themselves to the Honours Gabbai who will be greeting people at the door to the sanctuary.
Your guests should be aware that all men and boys are required to have their heads covered at all times when in the building out of respect for our customs. Head coverings for women and girls are optional but encouraged, especially when being called to the Bimah or when carrying a Torah.
Please also advise your guests that the use of cell phones, cameras, and other electronic devices while on the premises is forbidden on Shabbat.
The Torah is taken out between 9:45 and 10:00. Honourees who will be opening and closing the Ark and those carrying the Torah in the procession should arrive no later than 9:30 and those being called up to the Torah very shortly thereafter.
The honourees who will be opening and closing the Ark ascend the Bimah and station themselves on either side. (If there are four then there should be 2 on each side).
The Gabbai prompts the opener(s) on the right side to open the Ark at the proper time and those on the left to close it. Please ensure that these honourees understand that they must wait until prompted.
The B’nei Mitzvah goes up to the Ark and holds the Torah when the Shema is recited. He/she then passes the Torah off to the person designated to carry it in the procession. The Torah leads the procession followed by the crown carrier, the B’nei Mitzvah, the Rabbi and a senior Board member.
As the Torah reading begins, each person receiving an Aliyah is asked by the Honours Gabbai to move to a designated seat in the front row prior to being called. Each honouree will have been given a silver tag with their honour engraved on it.
Once their turn comes, the Gabbai Rishon calls each individual by their Hebrew name to come up and receive their honour. They then go up to the Bimah, move to their right, and present the silver tag to the Gabbai.
They then proceed to stand on the right side of the Ba’al Koreh (Torah reader) and read the blessings before and after the reading following the Ba’al Koreh’s directions.
After their Aliyah is done they move to the right again and remain during the following Aliyah after which they may descend from the Bimah and be congratulated by the Clergy and nearby congregants.
On a normal Shabbat the lifting and tying of the Torah occurs following the Maftir Aliyah (the 8th aliyah). However on special occasions when two Torahs are taken out, the first Torah is lifted and tied after the 7th aliyah and the Maftir portion is then read from the second Torah which is lifted and tied after Maftir.
Whichever the case, the Honours Gabbai ensures that these persons are brought forward when their turn comes.
The B’nei Mitzvah speaks for a few minutes on the weekly Torah portion.
Following the Torah reading and the lifting and tying of the Torah the B’nei Mitzvah chants the Haftarah.
In order to allow the congregation to listen without distraction, the doors to the sanctuary are closed during this recitation and movement about the room is discouraged. There is one exception: one or two younger family members may pass out soft, wrapped, kosher candies to the congregation at this time.
At the conclusion of the Haftarah and the closing blessings, the congregation showers the B’nei Mitzvah with the candies. Note that they are not meant to be projectiles! It is the responsibility of all of the younger children present to ensure that no candy is left on the floor of the Bimah.
The Rabbi takes a few minutes to introduce the B’nei Mitzvah to the Congregation and perform a special blessing with the family. The Cantor will offer a special musical blessing.
Honourees that will be reading the first three of these are asked to move up to the front at this time and called up as a group to read. The prayer for Israel is usually chanted by the Cantor with Congregational participation.
Once a month on the Shabbat immediately preceding the new moon (Rosh Chodesh) a special blessing is chanted by the Cantor with a congregant holding the Torah.
The Ashrei prayer is chanted. It is customary for the B’nei Mitzvah to lead the prayer with a group of friends and/or siblings, responsively with the congregation.
At the end of Ashrei, the Torah is taken from its stand and handed to the designated carrier for the procession to return it to the ark. The Honours Gabbai leads the carrier to the proper place to receive the hand-off and gives direction as to the route to follow.
The procession consists of the Torah carrier, the B’nei Mitzvah, the Cantor, the Rabbi, and a senior Board member (sometimes a member of Tamir holds the crown and/or breast plate as well).
At the same time the honourees who will be opening and closing the ark are directed to go up to the ark and prepare to open when the Gabbai Rishon prompts them to do so.
The Torah is placed in the Ark and after the Cantor chants the Eitz Chayim prayer the Ark is closed.
The Rabbi delivers the sermon at this time.
The Musaf service is normally led by the Cantor.
The President announces items of interest to the congregation.
These prayers may be led by the B’nei Mitzvah or a group of young people from the congregation.
Normally led by the Rabbi.
May be led by the B’nei Mitzvah or a group of young people from the congregation.
Blessings over grape juice and Challah, usually led by a family member.