Ohef Sholom Temple offers Learners’ Service

by | May 17, 2013 | What’s Happening

Saturday, June 22, 10:30 am

Have you ever felt lost in a Jewish Shabbat service? Wondered when to bow or what the Hebrew prayers mean? To help make sense of these customs and to offer insights into the service, Ohef Sholom Temple will offer a four-week series called Learners’ Service.

Led by Kathryn Morton, Rabbi Rosalin Mandelberg, Rabbi Arthur Steinberg, and Cantor Wally Schachet-Briskin, these classes are for those new to Judaism, as well as for people eager to learn more.

Beginning with “OMG! We’re Doing What Comes Naturally,” the class will look at the natural human impulse to make an emphatic noise when delighted, shocked, or frightened. The class will learn that that instinct is the energy at the heart of avodah and of t’fillah. The next session will look at the prayer book or siddur as a GPS device providing a route to get from place to place. Next, the class will explore the fact that the liturgy is a series of pre-packaged quotation pies to serve up on days when people don’t have the “oomph” to cook up their own offerings from fresh local ingredients. And, finally, the group will consider “Prayerobics,” the actions of body and of mind that illumine how Avodah can mean both worship and work.

Kathryn Morton, an immigrant to Judaism, writes, “I was surprised to learn a lot of things that are hardly noticed by life-long Jews: there’s no creed, questions and diverse viewpoints and insights are welcome; pride isn’t a sin, but a source of pro-active energy; and one doesn’t bow and shrink to pray, but stands tall. T here is a whole different way of thinking that undergirds Jewish life and ritual. The categories are different, the structure of time is different, the relationship to God and to self are different.” She is eager to help guide other newcomers to Judaism in these four learning services.

The Learners’ Services series is free and open to the public. For more information contact Linda at 625-4295 or linda@ohefsholom.org.