S’lichot is the name given to penitential Jewish prayers. In the various Jewish traditions, the term also refers to services that initiate the High Holy Days period–sometimes a full month before Rosh Hashanah. At Congregation B’nai Torah, we observe the S’lichot ritual on the Saturday evening immediately preceding Rosh Hashanah.
In anticipation of Sukkot, we build a Sukkah which is decorated by our Hebrew school students and adults. During the week of Sukkot we fulfill the mitzvah of Leishev baSukkah , of sitting (and eating) in the Sukkah.
At Congregation B’nai Torah, we celebrate Simchat Torah by dancing with the Torah scrolls. A Torah is then placed on a long table in the Sanctuary and unrolled. The last few verses of the concluding portion are chanted, and then the first few verses of the opening portion are chanted, thus completing and restarting the annual Torah-chanting cycle. This gives all participants in this joyful event the opportunity to see the entire Torah scroll.
On the Shabbat during Chanukah, join us for a service filled with Chanukah songs and stories. We bring a Chanukiah (Chanukah menorah) and candles from home, and light candles together as a community at the beginning of the service.
On Yom HaShoah, we gather to honor the memory of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. In addition to memorial prayers, each year’s program includes an educational component that aims to keep alive our memory of the Holocaust. In recent years, Congregation B’nai Torah has joined with Temple Or Atid of Wayland and Temple Beth El of Sudbury to observe this solemn commemoration.
On Shavuot we celebrate the giving of the Torah to the Israelites, and our renewed acceptance of it year after year. A traditional component of this service is Yizkor, a memorial service, which includes the reading of several psalms, the chanting of Eil Malei Rachamim and recitation of the Mourners’ Kaddish. After the service and a delicious dairy oneg, we study the Scroll of Ruth, which is a wonderful example of Biblical literature for its values of love, loyalty and faithfulness.