Shabbat - Saturday Morning Schedule (beginning May 5 and 6)
Friday night May 5: 7:15 pm Wine and cheese and other Snacks and 7:30 pm Prayers and Singing
Saturday May 6: 11am
Saturday May 20: 11am
Where? At the Santa Barbara Jewish Federation's Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center: 524 Chapala St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
What, oh what shall I wear???
It's traditional to wear something white on Shabbat. Dress respectfully, modestly and comfortably. Dress as if you're coming to have a conversation with the Divine about your soul and the meaning of your life.
Boys and men wear a kippah (head covering). Men and women wear a tallis (prayer shawl).
Don't wear perfume, cologne, after shave, scented deodorant, scented shampoo or conditioner, or even floral essences. The reason is that makes some of us really, really sick. And that would mean we couldn't be there to pray to God, and sing and hang out with y'all. So, please don't wear any (not even a little). If you forget or forget to tell your friend who's coming with you, we'll ask you to leave and come back after you've washed it off. Thank you for your compassion.
Before entering the sacred space, you'll be invited to take off your shoes. Why? Because it facilitates connecting with the earth that was created by the Holy One, The Kadosh Barechu (The Holy Blessed One). After all, what was the first commandment God spoke to Moses before talking with God? "Take off your shoes; for the place you are standing on is holy ground." Of course, if it is necessary for your health or comfort to keep your shoes on, please do.
Before entering, you'll be invited to ceremonially wash your hands with water. We'll have a cup and a bowl and a towel for you. It's not about washing off the coodies. It's about preparing yourself to enter into the sacred ritual of connecting with God through prayer and song. You want a spiritual experience? It's like painting. The quality of the result depends, in large part, on how well you prepare.
Spritual Director, Alison Zuber is our Mashpiah Ruchanit (Spiritual Director, or "the One who draws forth Spirit"). Gently, she will lead us in embodying and feeling ruach (spirit-breath) as we sing and pray. It's not about praying someone else's words. God wants to hear from you in whatever language you wish. Yes you, with all of your beauty and strength, fears, vulnerabilities, mistakes and imperfections (just like the rest of us).
Most of the prayers are in Hebrew, but don't panic. First of all, its good to pray in your own language, if that's regular American English or some other language. Second, give the Hebrew a shot. Some will flow through you just because the music is so beautiful. Some will hit a resonant chord in your heart just because Hebrew is our people's sacred language and you will feel the power of the words and connection to your ancestors even though you might not know what they mean. And if you'd rather not hold the siddur at all, that's fine. Just placing your hands on your heart is good, or maybe you'll even feel like dancing! And for the times that you are looking at the siddur, there is a line-by-line translation and a transliteration, so you can learn what the words mean and how to pronounce them. In the meantime, be patient with yourself. It takes time (perhaps 2 or 3 months) to become accustomed to the practice. Give yourself time to learn. Meanwhile, just relax. No one is judging you, and everyone is welcoming you.