understanding the service

How do I follow the service?

The Power Point (we call it our eSiddur), projected at the front of the sanctuary, is the simplest place to start. It contains transliteration and translation of Hebrew words in to English, song lyrics, Scripture readings, and other helpful directions.


What is the outline of the service?

Although our services are different each week, you will find that the outline of the service is consistent - including music & David dance.

  • Opening prayers - Barechu/Ashrai/Matovu/Teflilat Ha Talmiim
  • Shema/Va'havtah
  • Amidah/Kedusha
  • Mourners Kaddish
  • Prayer Over Children
  • Torah Service
  • Offering & Announcements
  • Drash (Sermon)
  • Kiddush - blessing over the wine & bread
  • Aaronic benediction
  • After the service, you are free to join us downstairs for coffee & bagels!

What is the etiquette during the service?

Singing and Praying together. Join in with Hebrew and English songs and prayers as much, as you feel comfortable. The Lai, Lai, Lai’s aren’t difficult! We ask that you not play musical instruments such as tambourines or shofars.


Standing and Bowing. We stand a lot during worship. There will be clear cues for you to rise during worship. There will be clear cues for you to rise during specific portions of the service. You will notice many people bowing as an act of reverence before the Lord at different times during certain prayers. If this is unfamiliar to you, do not feel obligated to bow. You’ll get the hang of it over time!


Dancing. We incorporate Israeli-style folk dance as a worship expression during certain parts of the service. We ask that you participate only if you are already familiar with the dance steps. Classes will be given from time to time.


What is the Mourner’s Kaddish?

The Mourner’s Kaddish is a prayer recited by those mourning the loss of a loved one. It is a prayer that never mentions death or sadness, rather it is packed full of words that exalt God. By praying it, we publicly affirm that even in grief and loss, we will not lose faith in God’s sovereignty, power, and goodness. Feel free to stand during the Mourner’s Kaddish if you are mourning the loss of a loved one.


Praying for our Children

All children under 13 (including children in the womb) are encouraged to come under the Chuppah for prayer. An assigned adult will pray for them.


What is the significance of the Torah Processional and what should I do during it?

After the Torah scrolls are removed from the ark, they are processed around the sanctuary. For us, the Torah Scroll is a visible reminder of the entirety of God’s word (Tanakh and B’rit Chadashah) as well as Yeshua, “The word who became flesh and dwelt among us”

(John1:14) When the Torah goes out into the congregation you are invited to come into the isles and touch it. When it passes by you, you are welcome (but not obligated) to reach out and touch the mantle of the Torah Scroll with you tallit, bible or Siddur, then bring you tallit bible or siddur to your lips as a sign of love and devotion to the Lord. This is an application of Psalm 119:103, which calls God’s Word “sweet as honey to the lips.” You are encouraged to continually face the Torah Scroll as it makes its way around the sanctuary and back up to the bimah.


What are the meanings of some Hebrew words & terminology I’ll encounter in the service?


  • Ark- Large furniture at the front of the sanctuary housing the Torah and Haftorah scrolls
  • Bimah- A platform at the front of the sanctuary or the table on which the Torah is read.
  • B’rit Chadashah- New testament
  • Challah- Traditional braided bread
  • Chuppah- A Tallit (prayer shawl) on poles
  • eSiddur – Electronic prayer book projected at the front of the sanctuary (Power Point)
  • Haftarah- Weekly reading from the biblical Prophets that coincides with the Torah portion
  • Kaddish- prayer for mourners
  • Kiddush & Motzi- Special blessings for joy and sustenance said over bread and wine at the end of the service
  • Mashiach -Messiah
  • Ner talmid- Eternal light over the Ark representing the presences of God
  • Parashah or Parsha- Weekly reading from the Torah
  • Ruach Hakodesh- Spirit of God
  • Shabbat – Sabbath, Saturday
  • Shalom- Peace, Hello, Goodbye
  • Tanakh- Old Testament
  • Torah- First five books of the Bible
  • Tzedakah Box- Offering box located in the foyer for tithes offerings and visitor cards
  • Yeshua-Yeshua