During my talks with people at the temple, they've mentioned the personal observance that comes with Judaism. This has caused me to wonder about temple attendance vs home observance. Do people go to temple and then go home for their own personal observance (prayers, songs, wine, challah, candles)? Or do they leave that to the temple? Is it possible to do both (go to temple and have ceremony at home?)
There are celebrations that are usually at home, like the Shabbat meal on Friday nights. Also, Passover is celebrated at home mostly. Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana services are observed only at the synagogue. Hanakkah is observed mostly at home, but there are some celebrations for that at the synagogue too.
Some Jews rarely go to any services at the synagogue. Some attend many times a week. Almost all Jews attend Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana services.
There are many varieties of Jews. It can get complicated. I hope that more members will respond to your really great question.
Most people 'do' Shabbat at home, not at the synagogue. Saturday morning is 'Torah service', and that is at the synagogue. Many holidays and general 'religious observance' is distinctly home based, while some others are primarily synagogue based. Often, a synagogue will have some kind of congregational observance of the home-based things, for people who can't or won't be doing anything at home. That's my experience, and my general observation from knowing other Jews from various movements.
I now light candles at home on Friday evening before attending Synagogue for the kabbalat Shabbat service. On Saturday evening I always do Havdalah to mark the end of Shabbat. When I first started my observance I only used to attend the service and did nothing besides some study and abstaining from work on Shabbat.
Post by mordantmaxim on Dec 3, 2014 11:43:34 GMT -5
I think it really does depend on your community. In one of the previous Reform communities, they lit candles during the Friday night service, and then had a quick oneg afterward that began with kiddush and challah. At my previous Conservative, they just did Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night, and would only do kiddush if someone sponsored a Friday night oneg that week. At my current Conservative, they do Kabbalat Shabbat, then do kiddush. I do kiddush with the community and then go home and do it with my husband. We have a 90% home based Shabbat observance and 10% shul based Shabbat observance. I've kind of fallen into the following Shabbat routine in the last year or so:
-Sunday: Plan the menu for the following week and make a shopping list. -Monday: Pick up and clean the house. -Tuesday: Shop on the way home. -Wednesday: Food prep. -Thursday: Challah and cooking. -Friday: Any remaining cooking during the day (I have every other Friday off). Kabbalat Shabbat at shul. While I'm at services, my husband arrives home from work and preps the Shabbat table. Then I come home for the following rituals together: lighting candles, kiddush, handwashing, motzi, dinner, and bentching. After dinner, I practice if I'm going to be ba'alah k'ri'ah or darshanit the next day, or I read the d'var Torah. -Saturday: Shacharit/Torah at shul in the morning. Lunch at home. Then I play some board games with my husband or read. We end with Havdalah at home.
Rinse. Repeat. (c: So while I'm at shul every Friday night and Saturday morning for a combined five hours (and Sunday minyan....), as you can see, most of the Shabbat stuff happens at home. We consider cleaning our house and shopping as important a part of Shabbat as lighting the candles.
If you're interested in incorporating more of Shabbat's observances into your home, here are some helpful tips we've found along the way that work for us:
1) My husband and I are introverted homebodies. We limit the number of guests we invite, and how often we do so. This removes a lot of "pressure" to do Shabbat "right" and "big".
2) We limit the menu. Our dinner is usually roasted chicken or marinated salmon, challah, and one or two of the following: soup, salad, vegetable side, starchy-side. For breakfast we usually do yogurt with berries and slivered almonds. For lunch we usually do cholent or tuna sandwiches with leftover sides from dinner.
3) We buy our dessert to save some time in the kitchen. Trader Joe's has pretty decent meringues, pastry twists, chocolate bundt cakes and parve ice cream, and Immaculate Confection has some pretty decent parve cookies, biscuits, and cake mixes. Depending on the hechschers you hold by, some of the Trader Joe items may not work for you though.
4) We set a timer for 15 minutes and pick up the house each Monday night, putting away anything that's been left out each week, tossing any accumulated mail, folding used throw blankets, decluttering etc.
5) Similarly, we deep clean one quarter of the house each Monday night after picking up the whole house, rotating between (a) the kitchen and dining room (b) the bathrooms (c) the bedrooms and office and (d) the living, dining, and entry/hallways. (Note: We don't have kids which is the only reason I am convinced this routine currently works for us. I expect eventual parenthood to laugh in our face.)
6) Bread machine makes homemade challah so easy; all you have to do is dump in ingredients and braid. I do the simplest, three-stand braid, and throw it in the oven. Bam.
7) We have ourselves on a seasonal recipe rotation. Within each three or four month period, we use the same 2-3 kinds of main dishes, 2-3 kinds of soups, 2-3 kinds of salads, etc etc. This makes it way easier on you: you can buy in bulk, you can buy in-season produce and lower your bills; you can make big batches and freeze; you can save time once you've identified your short list of recipes by never researching new ones again; you still have enough variation to ensure no two dinners in the same period are repeats.
8) We are big on using the crock pot for dinners throughout the week. Lots of veggies and sauces plus the occasional cheaper cut of meat, and you have plenty of leftovers for dinner and lunches.
9) Roll with the punches when you have to work late, travel out of town, get sick, etc. As long as the candles get lit and the wine gets drunk....
Well, as I live pretty much far away from the synagogue (it's the only synagogue in my city), I can choose - either I would stay at home for Kabbalat Shabbat and light candles, either I would go to the synagogue and not light the candles. At some periods I prefer one option over the other and then the other way round, although our rabbi prefers us to come to the synagogue while in the conversion process.
By Friday afternoon my challah is ready, Shabbat dinner also, so it waits for me at the table.
I go to Shacharit Shabbat regularly.
As for the weekly schedule, it's definitely formed having Shabbat in mind, but I often do everything at the last minute - I clean up on Thursdays and prepare meals on Fridays (which gets very complicated during the winter when I have so little time until Shabbat starts), and I also prepare everything that I need for Shabbat then. After all that rush I enjoy to stop and just enjoy the time of Shabbat. Always feels special