At the heart of the service is hope of fulfilling the Shema, by receiving something from God into our hearts in a way that transforms our lives into greater alignment with truth.
For millennia, Jewish worship on the Sabbath has included certain key elements like the public recitation of The Shema, public reading and study of Scripture from the Torah and Haftarah, a teaching from the rabbi, and musical worship. The blessings and readings involved in the stages of worship are almost entirely taken directly from the texts of Scripture — and the map of the service takes us in progressing stages from the what is hol (commonplace) to what is kadosh (holy). Acts 21:18-24 makes clear from a New Testament perspective, Jewish Two-Testament congregations and individuals are to embrace what is Jewish in custom and ethnic identity, so long as it is within the bounds of Scriptural soundness, and is spiritually positive or elevating in nature or effect.
Our synagogue uses the official Siddur (Prayer Book) of Conservative Judaism as our basic service-outline text: The Sim Shalom Siddur. Please see the menu item entitled, “Why Conservative?” for explanation of our choice of this particular prayer-book.