As is fitting, Shabbat is the cornerstone of our celebration of Judaism.
Shabbat observance begins with Minhah, Kabbalat Shabbat, and Ma'ariv services on Fridays. The transition from hol - weekday time - to the kedushah of Shabbat is a special one, and all the more special when you're there to share in it! You are encouraged to make every effort to honor the advent of Shabbat by attending Minhah and Kabbalat Shabbat services with us. In fact, make a point of signing up to attend - you'll find that making the commitment is, in fact, a liberating one!
During those months when Shabbat begins fairly early, between Minhah and Kabbalat Shabbat the Rabbi teaches briefly. Or Zarua begins its Shabbat services as the sun is going down, no matter what the season. Because service times are different each week, please consult the monthly calendar here or call 212.452.2310, Ext. 39, for time information.
On many occasions throughout the year, we hold congregational dinners on Friday evenings after Ma'ariv and congregational luncheons on Saturdays after Musaf and Kiddush. These congregational meals usually feature guest speakers who speak on topics as wide ranging as the Jewish community itself. At times we also have "Scholar-in-Residence" Shabbatot, where the visiting guest will speak at Shabbat dinner on Friday night, at Shabbat luncheon, and sometimes at a Se'udah Sh'lishit on Saturday, as well.
Shabbat morning services begin with Shaharit at 9:00 am (except for two Shabbatot each year when we begin at 8:45 am) and include the reading of the entire parashah for the week; in between aliyot the Rabbi leads the congregation in a discussion of the parashah in which everyone is free to participate. Musaf is followed by a congregational Kiddush and, sometimes, by a free kiddush lunch in our Social Hall.
While services are being held in the sanctuary, separate activities are held for toddlers, young children, and older children in our classrooms. Torah Tots (ages 0-5) from 11:15am-11:45am, and Torah Kids (5-10) from 10:30am - 11:45am. Check our calendar for Shabbat & Me Saturday (0-5) and Mah Zeh Shabbat (10-18) dates.
Children in Kindergarten and 5th grade are welcome in whichever service is most comfortable for them.
Shabbat is an ideal time to come to Or Zarua to experience a vibrant, traditional Shabbat and to learn about our congregation. If you're searching for a synagogue to join or simply like to visit different synagogues, we strongly encourage you to stop in!