Alternative Services: a New Approach to Shabbat

The synagogue will hold its first attempt at the provision of alternative services at 10.30 am on Saturday 5 May. There will be parallel services that day: one will be the usual Shabbat morning service and the other will be an ‘alternative” service. This will be the first in a series which will aim to increase communal participation and deepen our understanding of Jewish liturgy.

This first alternative service will be led by Rabbi Fabian and Bobby Garson while the usual service will be led by Julian Levy. The alternative service will take the form of a seminar/discussion group and will look at the widest aspects of worship and prayer. It will take the early part of the service, the morning blessings (birkhot hashachar), to provide focus and will address the questions of why we pray, how the motive for prayer varies from person to person, and the role of prayer – if there is a role – in the sustaining of Jewish life. We will also ask if our liturgy should give us a sense of peace or whether it should challenge our comfort zones.

We hope that the occasional provision of two services will prove attractive to our community. Come along!