I have such wonderful memories of Friday Night Shabbat Services when I was a child. Putting on my blue blazer that I had just outgrown. Playing with my father’s tsit tsit or laying my head on my mother’s lap while listening to our Rabbi give his d’var. They are such soothing memories. I remember early on my mother telling me to close my eyes during the Shema and telling me that Erev Shabbat felt very spiritual to her. We shared a lot in those brief moments while turning to the next page.
As I got older and made my way through Religious School, I recall explaining what I assumed was new information to her. I shared with her that in fact the Shema was more than the recitation of that one important sentence. I remember her nodding as if she were learning that for the first time!
So much of what I gained during services, in addition to an added closeness with my family, was framing my Religious School education. I was able to put into action some of the rituals I was learning on Sundays, put into practice the Hebrew I was learning on Wednesday evenings, and talk out my inferences about our faith with my mother and father.
My Religious education did not end at Hebrew School dismissal, but rather was lifted, framed and actualized during Friday Night Services. This is the case for every Jewish child who attends Religious School. Of course, Shabbat services are a time to decompress. Our people have made a commitment to separate the Sabbath from the week. However, education and scholarship are also built into the joyful experience of Shabbat.
Regardless of whether you are attending a Family Service or any other service, enjoy this opportunity to snuggle up to your Yeladim and share with them, what you know, see what they understand, and celebrate the joy that comes from the convergence of your knowledge, their knowledge and knowledge provided by our Avot v’Imot.
Director of Religious Education & Sacred Music