At The Synagogue

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How to Have an Aliyah

How to Have an Aliyah

In this 4 minute long instructional video from MyJewishLearning.com, Rabbi Steven Exler explains and demonstrates what to do and say when being called up to the Torah for an aliyah, with the on-screen English and transliterated texts of the Hebrew blessing. Rabbi Steven Exler is

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Great for beginners, this brief excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik offers an explanation of the structure and meaning behind the Friday night synagogue services, including Mincha (the afternoon prayer), Kabbalat Shabbat, and Ma’ariv (the evening prayer). The article ends with a collection of

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading, when called up for an aliyah. These videos with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles were created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube

Learn the Blessing Before Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Blessing Before Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

This video demonstrates the singing of the blessing one recites upon being called up to the Torah for an aliyah during Torah reading. This video, with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles, was created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube

What To Expect At Synagogue Services on Saturday Morning

What To Expect At Synagogue Services on Saturday Morning

This informative article by Conservative Rabbi Daniel Kohn  provides a guide for bar/bat mitzvah guests and other newcomers to Shabbat worship services, including explanations of what to wear and do, and a description of the people who lead the various parts of the service. Despite the fact that norms

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the reading of the haftarah in Reform congregations. The haftarah is a selection from the book of Prophets publicly read in synagogue following the Torah reading on Shabbat, Jewish festivals and fast days. In

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

This short video demonstrates how to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading according to the Reconstructionist tradition, which omits references to the Jews as the ‘Chosen People’ because of the movement’s ideological stance against chosenness in favor of equality. The video, with

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: How To Have an Aliyah

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: How To Have an Aliyah

This short video from Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks demonstrates what to do and say when being called up to the Torah for an aliyah. With clear step-by-step instructions and an accompanying on-screen transliteration of the blessings, this video is particularly helpful for beginners. The video is from the

Learn to Chant the Blessings for the Aliyah

Learn to Chant the Blessings for the Aliyah

This interactive online tool from Chabad.org allows you to learn to recite the traditional blessings before and after the Torah reading at your own pace with the click of a button. With the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited in a slow,

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the Mi Sheberach prayer recited during the Torah reading and provides the Hebrew and English texts for the prayers recited during the week and on Shabbat for those who are called up to the Torah for an aliyah, for sick

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

Perfect for beginners, this clear article from Chabad.org explains the origins behind being called up to the Torah, as well as when and how this is practiced in Orthodox congregations, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated texts of the blessings recited both before and after the

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Perfect for beginners, this comprehensive article by Ronald L. Eisenberg explains everything you need to know about the ritual of getting called up to the Torah. The author describes the entire process in clear detail, mentioning the varying customs of different communities as well as how the

Let’s Learn T’fillah: L’cha Dodi

Let’s Learn T’fillah: L’cha Dodi

This short animated video from Rabbi David Paskin slowly demonstrates how to sing the chorus and the first two and last two verses of L’cha Dodi, the central prayer of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. He uses a catchy, upbeat tune. With on-screen Hebrew text and clear

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

This short Kabbalat Shabbat Guide from Temple Chai provides a list of all of the prayers and songs that make up the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv evening service, along with a brief description of each prayer. Although it does not include the actual texts of

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

This post presents the Guide and Transliteration for Friday Evening Services from the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation Bnai Israel, a Conservative Egalitarian Synagogue in Fair Lawn, NJ. Particularly useful for those using the Conservative Siddur Sim Shalom prayer book, this pamphlet contains a guide to the

Learn How to Sing the Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Learn How to Sing the Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This 16 minute long video by Rabbi Eli Garfinkel demonstrates how to sing the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service, with Hebrew, English and transliterated texts to follow along. He uses many melodies that are popular in North American Conservative synagogues. Whereas some hymns are sung in their

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. With introductory articles explaining the origins, structure and meaning behind the service, as well as short teachings scattered throughout, this

What to Expect at a Reform Shabbat Service

What to Expect at a Reform Shabbat Service

This article by Rabbi Wendi Geffen answers basic questions about the evening and morning Shabbat services in Reform Congregations, such as whether or not there will be music and what people may be wearing. This is a helpful resource for someone who is planning on

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Customs

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Orthodox Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

Orthodox Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv evening prayer service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. Originally created for a minyan held annually at the Arisia science fiction convention in Boston, MA, which takes place

Traditional Blessings Before & After Torah Reading

Traditional Blessings Before & After Torah Reading

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading when called up for an aliyah, as well as audio recordings of each blessing sung by Cantor Daniel Singer of the Reform Stephen Wise Free Synagogue.  Blessing

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat service along with a 27 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. The service includes the Psalms, hymns and Talmudic passages

A Reform Prayer for Kislev & Hannukah

A Reform Prayer for Kislev & Hannukah

This link opens up the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of a prayer that can be read from the beginning of the Hebrew month of Kislev through the end of Hannukah. Comprised of selected verses from Isaiah 60 about the power of divine light in dark times,

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the musical prayer navigator of Mechon Hadar, where you can find audio recordings for each part of the synagogue service for Shabbat, weekday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Festivals and Rosh Chodesh. A useful resource for those who want to learn

Reform Blessings Before & After the Reading of the Haftarah

Reform Blessings Before & After the Reading of the Haftarah

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the blessings recited before and after the reading of the haftarah in Reform congregations. The haftarah is a selection from the book of Prophets publicly read in synagogue following the Torah reading on Shabbat, Jewish festivals

Hebrew Coming-of-Age Misheberakh Prayers

Hebrew Coming-of-Age Misheberakh Prayers

This post presents the Hebrew texts of four different coming-of-age Mi Sheberach prayers: traditional Bar Mitzvah, traditional Bat Mitzvah, 80 year old, and second Bar Mitzvah, sometimes celebrated 70 years after the first. Created by egabbai.com, these small cards are specifically designed for the gabbai –

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Reform Blessings Before & After Reading the Haftarah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the reading of the haftarah in Reform congregations. The haftarah is a selection from the book of Prophets publicly read in synagogue following the Torah reading on Shabbat, Jewish festivals and fast days. In

Misheberakh Prayer for a Bat Mitzvah Girl

Misheberakh Prayer for a Bat Mitzvah Girl

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of the Mi Sheberach prayer for a Bat Mitzvah girl to be recited during the Torah reading service in synagogue. The blessing was published by JOFA, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance and shared on Ritualwell, a project

The “Mi Sheberach” Prayer for One Who Has an Aliyah

The “Mi Sheberach” Prayer for One Who Has an Aliyah

This post provides the Hebrew and English texts for the prayer recited for one who is called up to the Torah on Shabbat. An excerpt from a longer article from Chabad.org, this text reflects the tradition of the Orthodox Hasidic Chabad-Lubavitch community.  Mi Sheberach to be said after

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading & the Concept of Chosenness

This short video demonstrates how to recite the blessings before and after the Torah reading according to the Reconstructionist tradition, which omits references to the Jews as the ‘Chosen People’ because of the movement’s ideological stance against chosenness in favor of equality. The video, with

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading with Feminine God-Language

Reconstructionist Blessings Before & After Torah Reading with Feminine God-Language

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of a the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading when called up for an aliyah, using feminine God-language and omitting reference to the Jews as the ‘Chosen People.’ The blessings were formulated by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Reb

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

Learn the Blessings Before & After Reading the Torah with “Prayer-eoke”

These two short videos demonstrate the singing of the blessings recited before and after the Torah reading, when called up for an aliyah. These videos with Hebrew and transliterated subtitles were created by Rabbi Ahuva Zaches of Congregation Or Ami (Reform) in Richmond, VA, as part of her YouTube

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear different versions of songs from Kabbalat Shabbat, recorded by Bnai Keshet, a vibrant Reconstructionist congregation in Montclair, NJ known for its lively, musical Kabbalat Shabbat services. 

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear songs from the Kabbalat Shabbat services of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of London. This website explains the prayer customs of this community, featuring both traditional and contemporary melodies. The purpose of this website is to provide an online resource of

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

This post includes two audio recordings representing the Syrian custom and musical style, sung by Hazzan Faraj Samra. The first clip is a 20 minute long audio recording of the Song of Songs, traditionally recited in its entirety prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in many Sephardic

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

This hour long video features Cantor Shira Lissek leading the entire Kabbalat Shabbat service with musical accompaniment. Shira Lissek is the Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. 

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

This 9 and a half minute long video features the Israeli male a Capella group, Kippalive, singing harmonic versions of many of Rabbi Shlomo Calebach‘s most famous melodies for Kabbalat Shabbat. The group sings selected verses of each of the songs from the Shabbat Shabbat service, except

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat Service Guide

This post presents the Guide and Transliteration for Friday Evening Services from the Fair Lawn Jewish Center/ Congregation Bnai Israel, a Conservative Egalitarian Synagogue in Fair Lawn, NJ. Particularly useful for those using the Conservative Siddur Sim Shalom prayer book, this pamphlet contains a guide to the

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. With introductory articles explaining the origins, structure and meaning behind the service, as well as short teachings scattered throughout, this

Nusach Edot Hamizrach Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text)

Nusach Edot Hamizrach Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text)

This post presents the entire Edot Hamizrach Kabbalat Shabbat service in Hebrew, including the Song of Songs, which is traditionally recited prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in Sephardic congregations, and Bameh Madlikin, a passage from the Mishnah which is often recited between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv.

Siddur Livnat HaSapir for Welcoming Shabbat: A Personal Prayerbook by Aharon Varady

Siddur Livnat HaSapir for Welcoming Shabbat: A Personal Prayerbook by Aharon Varady

This link opens up a digitized version of Siddur Livnat HaSapir for Welcoming Shabbat, a complete Friday night prayerbook compiled by Aharon Varady, with Kabbalat Shabbat on page 38-94. Varady defines his personal siddur as “Nusach Ashkenaz with other choice customs,” explaining that it reflects his own

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents the Nusach Ha’Ari and Nusach Sefard tradition of reciting a passage from the Zohar called K’Gavna between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv. This Kabbalistic commentary on Parshat Terumah explains the profound spiritual significance of the evening service on Shabbat. The English translation below

Yemenite Recitation of the Song of Songs

Yemenite Recitation of the Song of Songs

This 27 minute long audio recording presents the entire Song of Songs chanted according to Yemenite custom and pronunciation. One of the five megillot (scrolls) of the Bible, the Song of Songs is traditionally recited prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in Sephardic synagogues. With themes of

Bameh Madlikin: Hebrew Text of Mishnah Recited on Friday Nights

Bameh Madlikin: Hebrew Text of Mishnah Recited on Friday Nights

In many Orthodox congregations (both Ashkenazi and Sephardic,) the second chapter of the Mishnah Tractate Shabbat is recited on Friday nights, either between Kabbalat Shabbat and the Maariv evening prayer or after Kiddush (part of Ma’ariv on Shabbat) in synagogue. It discusses the lighting of Shabbat

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Kabbalat Service according to the Sefard, Jerusalem tradition, along with a 20 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. This resource is from the

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Reform Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This link opens up the 2003 version of the UC-Berkeley Siddur for Shabbat. The Kabbalat Shabbat service (pages 1-19) includes some of the hymns and Psalms of the traditional service, together with contemporary writings, prayers, and poems, quotations from Jewish thinkers throughout history, and Talmudic and biblical

Humanistic Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Humanistic Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This link opens up a Humanistic Kabbalat Shabbat Service (pages 4-17), which includes a selection of poems, prayers and songs in Hebrew and English. Yedid Nefesh, a Kabbalistic hymn that often precedes Kabbalat Shabbat, is included in the candle lighting ceremony. The service begins with selected verses

Secular/ Humanist Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Secular/ Humanist Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This Secular/Humanist Shabbat Service presents poems and prayers for Kabbalat Shabbat on pages 6-10. This section includes translations and transliterations of Hebrew/Yiddish poems about welcoming the Sabbath Queen, by Hayim Nahman Bialik, Zalman Shenour and Kadia Molodowsky, secular/humanist adaptations of Shalom Aleichem and the Shema by Morris Sukenik, and Marcia Falk‘s

Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat Service

Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This excerpt from “Shabbat: A personal guide to the spiritual observance of Shabbat” presents the Kabbalat Shabbat service of the Beyt Tikkun Jewish Renewal neo-Hasidic synagogue in Berkeley, California. This Kabbalat Shabbat service begins with an outdoor meditation celebrating creation, followed by selections from Shema, a central

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew & English)

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew & English)

This link will open up a digitized version of “The Sabbath Prayer Book,” the first Reconstructionist siddur to have entered the public domain, arranged and translated by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement. The complete Kabbalat Shabbat service can be seen from page 34-59,

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Transliteration)

Conservative Kabbalat Shabbat & Ma’ariv (Transliteration)

This 20 page PDF document contains an English transliteration of the entire evening service on Shabbat, including Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv, and some additional prayers.Specifically designed for the Conservative Beth El Congregation of Durham, NC, this resource is based on the Siddur Sim Shalom used in

Orthodox Kabbalistic Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

Orthodox Kabbalistic Kabbalat Shabbat (Hebrew, English, Transliteration)

This 63 page PDF document contains the entire evening service on Shabbat, including Kabbalat Shabbat, Ma’ariv, and some additional prayers. With Hebrew, English and transliterated texts, as well as short introductions and explanations, this is an excellent resource for beginners. Created by Kabbalah4All, it focuses

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Music

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The Nava Tehila Ensemble: Dancing in the Glory – A Journey into Kabbalat Shabbat

The Nava Tehila Ensemble: Dancing in the Glory – A Journey into Kabbalat Shabbat

This post features the first song from Nava Tehila Ensemble’s album, “Dancing in the Glory: A Journey into Kabbalat Shabbat,” made up of original Kabbalat Shabbat melodies. The Nava Tehila Ensemble is a Jerusalem-based group who perform both original and traditional music that draws on Jewish,

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

Kippalive: A Capella Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat

This 9 and a half minute long video features the Israeli male a Capella group, Kippalive, singing harmonic versions of many of Rabbi Shlomo Calebach‘s most famous melodies for Kabbalat Shabbat. The group sings selected verses of each of the songs from the Shabbat Shabbat service, except

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

Syrian Song of Songs and Kabbalat Shabbat (Audio)

This post includes two audio recordings representing the Syrian custom and musical style, sung by Hazzan Faraj Samra. The first clip is a 20 minute long audio recording of the Song of Songs, traditionally recited in its entirety prior to Kabbalat Shabbat in many Sephardic

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

Audio Recordings of Ashkenazi High Holiday Liturgy

This link will take you to the musical prayer navigator of Mechon Hadar, where you can find audio recordings for each part of the synagogue service for Shabbat, weekday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Festivals and Rosh Chodesh. A useful resource for those who want to learn

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

This link will take you to a three-part online audio course exploring the content, meaning, and music of Lecha Dodi, as part of Mechon Hadar’s Tefillah Toolkit series. Three scholars explore what the prayer is about, what it means to pray it, and how to get

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Reconstructionist Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear different versions of songs from Kabbalat Shabbat, recorded by Bnai Keshet, a vibrant Reconstructionist congregation in Montclair, NJ known for its lively, musical Kabbalat Shabbat services. 

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Spanish & Portuguese Kabbalat Shabbat Melodies

Click this link to hear songs from the Kabbalat Shabbat services of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews’ Congregation of London. This website explains the prayer customs of this community, featuring both traditional and contemporary melodies. The purpose of this website is to provide an online resource of

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Cantor Shira Lissek’s Conservative Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

This hour long video features Cantor Shira Lissek leading the entire Kabbalat Shabbat service with musical accompaniment. Shira Lissek is the Associate Cantor of Park Avenue Synagogue, the largest Conservative community in NYC and the flagship of Jewish liturgical music in North America. 

The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of “Sabbath Queen,” a poem by Israel’s national poet, Hayim Nahman Bialik, about welcoming Shabbat. This poem is included in many alternative Kabbalat Shabbat services in Israel and abroad. There is also an audio recording of

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents the Nusach Ha’Ari and Nusach Sefard tradition of reciting a passage from the Zohar called K’Gavna between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv. This Kabbalistic commentary on Parshat Terumah explains the profound spiritual significance of the evening service on Shabbat. The English translation below

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Nusach Sefard-Jerusalem Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Kabbalat Service according to the Sefard, Jerusalem tradition, along with a 20 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. This resource is from the

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat Service (Hebrew Text & Audio)

This link will direct you to the full Hebrew text of the Moroccan Kabbalat Shabbat service along with a 27 minute long audio recording of the entire service in the chanting style characteristic of this tradition. The service includes the Psalms, hymns and Talmudic passages

Rabbi Menachem Creditor: An Original Melody for Yedid Nefesh

Rabbi Menachem Creditor: An Original Melody for Yedid Nefesh

This 4 minute long home video presents an original tune for Yedid Nefesh, composed and performed by Rabbi Menachem Creditor, the rabbi of the Conservative Netivot Shalom Congregation in Berkley, California. The liturgical poem is often sung by Ashkenazi congregations between the afternoon Minchah prayer on

Yigal Bashan: Likrat Shabbat (Hebrew)

Yigal Bashan: Likrat Shabbat (Hebrew)

This song, written by Avi Koren and performed by Yigal Bashan, is an Israeli classic describing the atmosphere of a traditional Friday night Shabbat dinner. It contains references to common Shabbat rituals, including the lighting of the Shabbat candles, the table set for a festive meal

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

This 6:26 minute long video produced by The Kabbalah Center provides deep mystical meditations based on the Kabbalistic secrets hidden within the song, Ana B’Koach, traditionally sung as part of the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service. It also provides a musical version of the prayer and concludes

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

This post provides a brief introduction to the liturgical poem “Yedid Nefesh,” often sung by Ashkenazi congregations between the afternoon Minchah prayer on Friday and the beginning of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Although the authorship is uncertain, it is commonly attributed to the sixteenth century

Ethiopian Melody for Lecha Dodi on the Tel Aviv Port

Ethiopian Melody for Lecha Dodi on the Tel Aviv Port

This 5 minute long video presents an upbeat traditional Ethiopian melody for Lecha Dodi, the central song of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. This recording comes from the Kabbalat Shabbat service of Beit Tefilah Israeli, a creative, innovative and inclusive Jewish-Israeli community that offers meaningful Jewish ritual,

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Informative Articles & Videos

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Welcoming the Sabbath with Kabbalat Shabbat, Lecha Dodi and Ma’ariv

Welcoming the Sabbath with Kabbalat Shabbat, Lecha Dodi and Ma’ariv

This introductory article by George Robinson outlines the basic structure of the Kabbalat Shabbat and evening prayer service, including an explanation of traditions held in various communities and the development of customs throughout history. Although the Kabbalat Shabbat service is made up of many different prayers,

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Aliyah 101: What You Should Know Before Being Called to the Torah

Perfect for beginners, this comprehensive article by Ronald L. Eisenberg explains everything you need to know about the ritual of getting called up to the Torah. The author describes the entire process in clear detail, mentioning the varying customs of different communities as well as how the

The Structure & Mystical Meaning of Kabbalat Shabbat

The Structure & Mystical Meaning of Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents two approximately 4 minute long videos by Rabbi David Paskin introducing the basic structure and meaning behind the Kabbalat Shabbat service. The first video focuses on the first six Psalms of the service, which represent the six days of the week leading

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

An Introduction to the “Mi Sheberach” Prayer

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the Mi Sheberach prayer recited during the Torah reading and provides the Hebrew and English texts for the prayers recited during the week and on Shabbat for those who are called up to the Torah for an aliyah, for sick

A Detailed Lecture About the Torah Reading Service & Aliyot

A Detailed Lecture About the Torah Reading Service & Aliyot

In this 30 minute video lecture from Chabad.org, Rabbi Menachem Posner provides a clear explanation of the entire Torah Reading service in synagogue, including an in-depth description of getting called up to the Torah for an aliyah. This video reflects the customs of the Orthodox

What is So Special About the Aliyahs?

What is So Special About the Aliyahs?

With references to halachic and Kabbalistic sources, this brief article from Chabad.org explains why being called up to the Torah is a special honor, focusing on the spiritual significance behind this ritual. As part of Chabad’s online “Ask the Rabbi” service, Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson explains

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

What is an Aliyah and How Can You Participate?

Perfect for beginners, this clear article from Chabad.org explains the origins behind being called up to the Torah, as well as when and how this is practiced in Orthodox congregations, including the Hebrew, English, and transliterated texts of the blessings recited both before and after the

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

The Hadar Institute: The Content, Meaning and Music of Lecha Dodi

This link will take you to a three-part online audio course exploring the content, meaning, and music of Lecha Dodi, as part of Mechon Hadar’s Tefillah Toolkit series. Three scholars explore what the prayer is about, what it means to pray it, and how to get

Welcoming the Bride: Exploring the Songs of Kabbalat Shabbat

Welcoming the Bride: Exploring the Songs of Kabbalat Shabbat

This link will take you to a six-part online audio course exploring the meaning behind the songs of Kabbalat Shabbat. Theologian, scholar, and educator, Rabbi Shai Held, examines each of the eight Psalms of the Kabbalat Shabbat service through a literary and theological lens, extracting lessons

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The article and poem by Alden Solovy explore two traditional metaphors of God – the harsh King often seen throughout Bible, alongside the compassionate, loving Queen we greet in the Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony. Solovy calls for us to combine these two metaphors, imagining a God that exhibits

L’cha Dodi and the Kabbalist Background to Kabbalat Shabbat: A Collection of Articles

L’cha Dodi and the Kabbalist Background to Kabbalat Shabbat: A Collection of Articles

This link will take you to a collection of articles exploring the Kabbalistic background to the Kabbalat Shabbat service, with a special focus on the L’cha Dodi prayer, a central song of the service with deep mystical origins. Compiled by the Jewish scholar, Noam Zion, these

The Structure and Spirit of the Kabbalat Shabbat Service

The Structure and Spirit of the Kabbalat Shabbat Service

This brief article from Chabad.org describes the structure of the Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv even prayer services on Shabbat. With a focus on prayer as the essence of Shabbat, the author describes how regular weekday prayer are adapted to reflect the special spirit of this

Introduction to the Kabbalat Shabbat Prayer Service

Introduction to the Kabbalat Shabbat Prayer Service

This introductory article describes the origins and structure of the Kabbalat Shabbat services, noting various customs practiced in different communities. Originally from the Encyclopaedia Judaica, this article was shared on Jewish Virtual Library.  Kabbalat Shabbat Kabbalat Shabbat (קַבָּלַת שַׁבָּת; literally “Reception of the Shabbat“) designates the inauguration of the Shabbat in

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Guide to the Friday Night Synagogue Services

Great for beginners, this brief excerpt from “Friday Night and Beyond” by Lori Palatnik offers an explanation of the structure and meaning behind the Friday night synagogue services, including Mincha (the afternoon prayer), Kabbalat Shabbat, and Ma’ariv (the evening prayer). The article ends with a collection of

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

The Kabbalat Shabbat Experience Siddur: Guide, Text & Articles

This post presents a well-formatted, printable PDF booklet of the traditional Ashkenazi Kabbalat Shabbat service with the Hebrew, English and transliterated texts of each prayer. With introductory articles explaining the origins, structure and meaning behind the service, as well as short teachings scattered throughout, this

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

K’Gavna: A Kabbalistic Reading Following Kabbalat Shabbat

This post presents the Nusach Ha’Ari and Nusach Sefard tradition of reciting a passage from the Zohar called K’Gavna between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv. This Kabbalistic commentary on Parshat Terumah explains the profound spiritual significance of the evening service on Shabbat. The English translation below

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

This 6:26 minute long video produced by The Kabbalah Center provides deep mystical meditations based on the Kabbalistic secrets hidden within the song, Ana B’Koach, traditionally sung as part of the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service. It also provides a musical version of the prayer and concludes

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

Yedid Nefesh: Introduction & Audio

This post provides a brief introduction to the liturgical poem “Yedid Nefesh,” often sung by Ashkenazi congregations between the afternoon Minchah prayer on Friday and the beginning of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Although the authorship is uncertain, it is commonly attributed to the sixteenth century

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The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

The Sabbath Queen: A Poem by Hayim Nahman Bialik

This post presents the Hebrew, English and transliterated text of “Sabbath Queen,” a poem by Israel’s national poet, Hayim Nahman Bialik, about welcoming Shabbat. This poem is included in many alternative Kabbalat Shabbat services in Israel and abroad. There is also an audio recording of

A Prayer Before One’s Aliyah to the Torah

A Prayer Before One’s Aliyah to the Torah

This post presents an original prayer which was written by Rabbi Jill Hammer to be recited by an individual or community at the time that the Torah is lifted or before one’s own personal aliyah. Although she wrote this blessing specifically for the holiday of

Art in Motion: The Ana B’Koach Prayer Video

Art in Motion: The Ana B’Koach Prayer Video

This 3:39 minute long video presents David Asher Brook’s award winning artistic representation of the mystical Ana B’Koach prayer. The artist paints each of the 42 Hebrew letters hidden within the ancient kabbalistic prayer, using the color and style that corresponds to the deeper meaning behind

The First American Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Account

The First American Bat Mitzvah: A Personal Account

In this article, Judith Kaplan Eisenstein shares a personal account of her Bat Mitzvah, the first Bat Mitzvah ceremony celebrated in America in 1922. The daughter of Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism, Judith recalls her own hesitations and those of her community, emphasizing how her

Reconstructionist Torah Reading Blessings in ASL

Reconstructionist Torah Reading Blessings in ASL

In this video, Rabbis Darby Leigh and Roni Handler demonstrate how to sing and sign the Reconstructionist version of the blessing before Torah reading in American Sign Language, which is especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and those seeking to make their

Aliyah to the Torah vs. Aliyah to Israel

Aliyah to the Torah vs. Aliyah to Israel

In this post from Chabad.org, Rabbi Yossi Lew explains why the term “aliyah” is used to describe both being called up to the Torah and moving to Israel. In both cases, aliyah – which means ascent – refers to a spiritual elevation, as opposed to

A Woman Describes Her First Aliyah to the Torah

A Woman Describes Her First Aliyah to the Torah

In this personal article, Lauren Hamburger relays her first experience of being called up to the Torah for an aliyah, a practice that is traditionally reserved for men. The author describes how it felt to be an active participant in the service, as opposed to

Attend Reform Shabbat Services Online

Attend Reform Shabbat Services Online

This link takes you to the official website of the Reform movement, where you can view live streams and recorded Kabbalat Shabbat services from Reform synagogues all across North America. Whether you are curious about the synagogue services or simply can’t make it all the

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About the Stillness of Evening

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About the Stillness of Evening

This poem by Ruth F. Brin describes the stillness and silence of the transition into evening, as reflected in the physical world, human beings, and God. Brin, a liturgical pioneer in the 1950s, modernized traditional Jewish prayers and texts with new interpretive readings and original poetry reflecting her own

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About Transitions

A Kabbalat Shabbat Poem About Transitions

This poem by Rabbi Annie Lewis explores the cyclical, evolving nature of the physical world and human beings, focusing on the transition into Shabbat as a time of peace and rest. Rabbi Annie Lewis, a poet, activist, and therapist, shared this poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

Rituals for Turning Off Devices Before Shabbat

Rituals for Turning Off Devices Before Shabbat

This post by Elana Bell presents a short blessing and a list of actions to add spiritual intention to the simple act of turning of your electronic devices before Shabbat. Elana Bell, a poet, performer and lecturer, shared this ritual on Ritualwell, a project of the

An Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur

An Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur

This link opens up “An Illustrated Kabbalat Shabbat Siddur with Drawings by Daniel Nebenzahl,” a Hebrew siddur for adults full of drawings that are meant to inspire the user. The siddur contains the Mincha afternoon prayers, Kabbalat Shabbat, and the Ma’ariv evening service in Nusach

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The King and Queen in the Field: Reimagining a God Metaphor in Elul (Article & Poem)

The article and poem by Alden Solovy explore two traditional metaphors of God – the harsh King often seen throughout Bible, alongside the compassionate, loving Queen we greet in the Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony. Solovy calls for us to combine these two metaphors, imagining a God that exhibits

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

Ana B’Ko’ach: A Musical Kabbalistic Meditation with On-Screen Text

This 6:26 minute long video produced by The Kabbalah Center provides deep mystical meditations based on the Kabbalistic secrets hidden within the song, Ana B’Koach, traditionally sung as part of the Kabbalat Shabbat prayer service. It also provides a musical version of the prayer and concludes

Reb Zalman’s Shabbat Afirmations

Reb Zalman’s Shabbat Afirmations

The following prayer comes from the “Siddur Tehillat HaShem Yidaber Pi — Sabbath Evening Supplement” by Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi, “Reb Zalman” (1924-2014), one of the founders of the Jewish Renewal movement and an innovator in ecumenical dialogue. Heavily rooted in deep, Kabbalistic concepts, it

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