It may seem strange at first that observing the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments. Do we really need to be commanded to rest? And is rest really so important that it belongs in the “Top Ten” commandments? Yes and yes.
Our work is never done. There are always responsibilities demanding our attention. Bills to be paid and commitments to be fulfilled. A house to be repaired and calls to be answered. Because our work is never done, the Torah commands us to rest, and carves out one-seventh of our life in which we are freed from all of our “doing,” free to simply “be”…with family, with friends, by ourselves and with God.
To step out of the rat race of our work lives once every seven days can at first be terribly difficult. We may feel guilty, imagining that we are being lazy or irresponsible. And so the Torah commands us to observe the Shabbat, and with that command the Torah sets us free.
Join Us for Shabbat Services
6:00-7:30pm Kabbalat Shabbat Service
“Tot Shabbat” for preschool aged children (18 months to 5 years)
The second Friday night of each month, 5:30-6:00 p.m
(See below for details)
9:00-10:00 Torah Study
10:30-12:30 Morning Services
Followed by Kiddush Lunch
Pre-neg: Wine, cheese and crackers before services
Every Friday evening , half an hour before services begin
Need a little help shifting out of your “Work Week Mind” into your “Shabbos Mind?” Worried that you might get hungry before the end of services at 7:30? Come be part of the “early crowd” for a little meet, munch and greet before services.
Kabbalat Shabbat Friday Night Services
Our largest regular community gathering: 75 minutes of spirited and spiritual song, meditation, prayer, learning, and re-connecting to friends, tradition, community, God and self. Stay afterwards for our Oneg Shabbat of savory and sweet foods to eat while you make new friends and connect with the old. We use a new prayerbook created by our congregation’s clergy team.
From September thru June, the 1st Friday of each month will include our Adult Choir while the 3rd Friday of each month will include our Temple Band. From mid-June through August, our services are held in our beautiful Abrahams Outdoor Chapel located in the back of our property behind the preschool building.
Torah Study with Rabbi Cohen
Every Saturday morning, 9:00-10:20 a.m.
A lively and eye-opening exploration into the Torah portion of the week, led by Rabbi Steve Cohen and open to everyone.
Shabbat Morning Services
Every Saturday morning 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Our Shabbat morning service is a unique hybrid of traditional and liberal Jewish prayer. This service feels like the kind of service you might find in a Conservative synagogue, only significantly shorter and with transliteration and explanation to make everything accessible to newcomers. On approximately twenty weeks of the year we welcome a young person into the adult Jewish community and celebrate with the family and friends of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah. On all other weeks, this service is peopled by our Shabbat morning minyan “regulars.”
Monthly “Tot Shabbat”
The second Friday night of each month, 5:30-6:00 p.m.
A very short service, geared specifically for preschool aged children (18 months to 5 years), led by our rabbi and cantor. For more information about Tot Shabbat’s, please contact the Temple office at (805) 964-7869.
The “Library” Minyan
We have a new Shabbat morning gathering, primarily (but not exclusively) for young families with children. We meet every Saturday morning at 10:30 on the preschool playground, and end with lunch at 12:00noon. Kids play on the playground and join the service for a children’s story. Parents keep an eye on their kids, but also sing, pray, and learn together in an informal, short but deep hour of communal worship. Leadership roles (davening, chanting Torah, leading discussion) are shared by the members.
Inspiration for Personal Practice
- Come to temple for services OR light candles and say blessings at home on Friday night
- Avoid spending money on Shabbat
- Designate Friday night (or Saturday some time) as family time
- Set aside a regular time on Saturday for a walk, or to read a Jewish book
- Take a nap on Saturday afternoon (Rabbi Steve’s personal recommendation)
- Make the 4-minute havdalah ritual marking the end of Shabbat a regular habit on Saturday night