The opening or beginning of Sabbath occurs at sundown on Friday night. This ritual is called “Erev Shabbat”, (the Eve of the Sabbath) or can also be referred to as “Kabblat Shabbat” (or “Welcoming the Sabbath”). The service consists of the lighting of candles which, though traditionally done by a woman, may be done by a man, followed by the singing of songs, or psalms to set the mood for the prayers that follows. This service can be performed at home around the table with friends and family, or together in a synagogue. It is typically performed around the evening meal. Traditional songs may include L’Cha Dodi or Shalom Aleichem. Other songs may be substituted. Wordless melodies (nigunim, singular, nigun) may be sung. Readings may be taken from a prayer book (i.e. “Siddur”). They may be read by the leader, by individuals in the congregation, by the congregation as a whole or in any way the leader decides. The signal that this part of the service is concluding is the recitation of the Hatzi Kaddish (Reader’s Kaddish). This prayer may have originated during Second Temple times, i.e., before 70 CE. It serves to separate sections of the service.
On Saturday mornings our worship begins with lively songs lead by our worship director and a team of musicians. This initial service is simply called “Praise & Worship” it is a time to rejoice before the Lord. Many participants will clap their hands and some even dance together in choreographed traditional Jewish dance steps. (Dance classes are often provided). Others prefer to remain standing and clap along to the music or some prefer to close their eye and adore God with raised hands. This is Biblical: