Our worship services are heavily participatory. From time to time you may receive an honor and be called to help perform part of a service.

Opening the ark for the Barchu

  • Approach the ark
  • Open doors by pulling them sideways
  • Face the ark
  • The cantor will chant the first verse, “Barchu et Adonai Hamvorah”
  • The congregation chants the second verse “Baruch Adonai Hamvorah L’Olam Vaed.”
  • Bow at “Baruch Adonai” and stand back up at “L’Olam Vaed”
  • The cantor will repeat the second line, remain facing the ark
  • When the cantor finishes, you may turn around and return to your seat. The rabbi and/or cantor may approach you to shake your hand

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Aliyah (prayer before and after Torah)

  • Approach the bima when your name is called
  • If the rabbi/gabbai does not already have your Hebrew name, he/she may ask you for it when you approach the bima.

Before the Torah portion is read

  • Touch your Tallis or the Torah belt to the Torah and then touch it to your lips (the person who is leining will point out where to touch the Torah)
  • Chant the first line of the blessing for the Torah
    Barchu et Adonai Hamvorah
  • The congregation will chant the second line
    Baruch Adonai Hamvorah L’Olam Vaed
  • Repeat the second line (chanting) out loud
    Baruch Adonai Hamvorah L’Olam Vaed
  • Chant the remainder of the blessing
    Baruch ata Adonai. Eloheinu Meleh ha’Olam asher bachar banu mikol ha-a-meem v natan lanu et torahto. Baruch ata Adonai noten haTorah.
  • Listen to the blessing:

After the Torah portion is read

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Raising and dressing the torah

  • Unroll scroll to show a few columns
  • Hold the two handles of the Torah and gently pull it toward you so that the bottom of the scroll extends slightly off the lectern
  • Bend your knees slightly and push downward on the handles. This will lever the Torah upward.
  • Raise the Torah and turn around to show it to the congregation (for about ten seconds)
  • Carry the Torah to the side seats (the gabbai will direct you), sit down (bring your arms down) and have your assistant dress Torah

Note: At certain times of the year, one of the scrolls may be significantly larger than the other. Take a look before lifting so that you can compensate for the heavier side.

The following videos demonstrate the process

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