In these extraordinary times we want to provide a meaningful worship experience. We know that it is hard. We are not in the sanctuary looking at our magnificent ark. We all don’t have the same siddurim or Chumashim. Most of us miss the awesome nature of the Torah service. Until we are permitted to gather together, however, a virtual service will have to suffice.
The Zoom services we have had for the last few weeks are a time to see each other’s faces, talk to each other, and catch up on what is going on in our lives, and we will continue holding services in this way. We think that many of you are satisfied with the 90-minute format, but the 90-minute format does not allow for meaningful, complete service.
If there is no objection, we will have henceforth an abbreviated service like the services we had the first three weeks. Maybe we will skip Musaf. Maybe we will skip P’sukei d’zimrah. Maybe we will skip Shacharit. Maybe we will skip the Torah reading or the Haftarah. Maybe we will skip the prayers for the congregation and this Country and Israel. Maybe we will have study session and skip much of the service, but we will always have Mourners’ Kaddish and the prayer for healing. We will try to end at noon, or a little after noon.
Every week, we will send an e-mail with the components of the upcoming Shabbat service. For example, this Shabbat is Rosh Hodesh, and we include Hallel. We will start at 10:30 with Shacharit, because Hallel consumes time and we want to be a meaningful Hallel. After the Torah service is finished, we will assess what time we have left (if any) and we will proceed accordingly.
We want everybody to have a spiritual experience under these trying times. Ninety minutes sounds right for a virtual service, and we want to provide quality, rather than quantity. We all hope that social distancing will end soon, and we can resume services in the sanctuary. If you have any comments or questions, contact Simon or Eric.