Temple Beth Shalom

21 East Foster Street, Melrose, MA (781) 665-4520

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Service Introduction

At Temple Beth Shalom, our approach to religious services embodies traditional Jewish worship with a spirit of participation. There are many ways a member may participate. This participation can be in English or Hebrew and will usually take one of the following forms.

  1. Aliyah - The "going up" or ascension to the Bimah to do a Torah reading. A person recites (in English or Hebrew) the prayer before and after the Torah reading. If they wish, they may also read the portion of the Torah reading for their Aliyah.
  2. Maftir - The additional Torah reading done each week. This honor requires the person to go up to the Bimah and say a blessing followed by the additional reading (Haftorah).
  3. Haftorah - The reading of the commentary on the weekly Torah portion.
  4. Torah Dressing- After the Torah portion has been completed, a person is called up to lift the scroll and dress it prior to it's replacement in the ark. You need strong arms and coordination to lift it up (preferably over your head) and turn to allow the congregation to see the scroll.
  5. Candle Lighting- This honor is usually reserved for the woman of the family sponsoring the Oneg Shabbat for that evening. However, another woman or man may be chosen if the family does not wish to light.
  6. Selected Readings- The Rabbi may ask individual members of the congregation to read portions (usually in English) of the service.
  7. Addresses to the Congregation - A member of the congregation may wish to speak on an issue affecting the Temple, the community, or the Jewish people. These addresses are coordinated with the Ritual Committee.

There is a Rabbi-led service approximately every other week between September and May. In the summer-time we typically have several lay-led services we call Cool Blessings.

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