Guide to Shabbat Morning Service (Mikveh Israel)

Guide to Our Shabbat Morning Service

Congregation Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel, Philadelphia
Prepared by Daniel C. Cohen, Esq., Ritual Committee
Edited by Richard Marcus, Member, Board of Adjuntos

ZEMIRO’TH (Introductory Prayers and Psalms) are recited to attune the mind to prayer. The Reader leads the Congregation from the prayer book. The asterisks indicate where the Congregation precedes the Reader in chant. After page 51 (Daily and Shabbat book, de Sola Pool), a new Reader begins on page 183.

The SHEMA’ consists of three specially selected sections from the Torah emphasizing the oneness of G-d, Obedience, and Education. It is the source for the Taleth (prayer shawl), Tefillin (phylacteries), and the Mezuzah. The Shema’ is flanked by blessings elaborating on G-d’s creating a new day (pp. 186-190), His love of Israel in giving us His Law (pp. 190-191) and His redeeming power (pp. 194-195). More about the Shema’ can be found in the Hertz edition of the Pentateuch on pages 920-925, 769-771, 792-3, and 633-4.

The AMIDAH (pp. 196-202) is a very ancient prayer. It is recited standing and in silence and is then repeated aloud by Reader. It contains a section of praise (p. 196), a section about the Sabbath (pp. 197-9), and a section of thanksgiving (pp. 199-201).

THE READING OF THE TORAH (page 208): The Parnas (President) goes up to the reading desk and the names of those presented with honors (such as opening the Hekhal Ark or carrying the Sefer Torah) are announced. The Torah service begins by a processional from the Hekhal. The Congregation stands until after the Sefer Torah is brought to the reading desk and displayed. The weekly portion is read on behalf of seven or more persons, each called by his Hebrew name. The last person (Maftir) also reads a section from the Prophets (Haftarah).

After the HAFTARAH is read, prayers call Hashcaboth (page 206) are recited for the departed whom the Congregation has perpetually memorialized and others whose anniversaries are being observed.

Prayers are then read for our Government, the State of Israel, and the Congregation (page 204). Announcements are made by the Parnas. The service continues on page 215. On page 216, the Congregation rises to sing during the processional returning the Sefer Torah to the Hekhal. Offerings are then made before the open Hekhal. The Congregation is not required to stand.

OFFERINGS provide an opportunity for members or guests of the Congregation to make monetary pledges in support of the synagogue, perhaps to note some personal occasion such as the recovery from illness or the special anniversary of a departed loved one. There is no obligation to make an offering, but the procedure is as follows: approach the Reader, give your Hebrew name, the amount of the pledge and the Hebrew name (if known) of the person being honored or commemorated. After the offering and blessing have been announced by the Reader, bow to him and return to your seat.

Following the last offering, the Congregation stands and sings the “Shuba” beginning at the bottom of page 218. The Hekhal is then closed.

Following the Rabbi’s Debar Torah (remarks), which alternatively may occur at the end of the Musaf, the MUSAF (additional) Amidah begins on page 220. The Reader says aloud the portion until page 222, page 223 is said in silence, and the Reader resumes aloud from page 224. The service concludes with the signing of En Kelohenu (page 229), the Kaddish recited by mourners (page 230), Alenu (page 231), and the singing of Adon Olam (page 232).