Understanding Shabbat Prayers

A Special Series with Rabbi Jamie Kotler

Tuesdays: October 25 and November 1, 8, 15, & 22
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
In-person at Kerem Shalom
Registration and payment due by October 12 to

$120 for members; $180 for non-KS-members
Couples: 10% discount)

What is prayer? Why do we pray? What are we saying when we mouth all those familiar (and some not-so- familiar) Hebrew words? Why these particular words and not others that might be more personally meaningful? Is there an intentional structure to our prayer book, and if so, why is it so hard to see? How do we keep the words we utter fresh, and meaningful, conveying the essence of our souls? How do we keep our prayer from becoming an exercise in rote recitation, using words empty of intention and meaning?

We will tackle these questions and many others as we learn about our prayer book (siddur). Using the prayers of Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday night services) as our source text, we will explore the arc of the spiritual journey our siddur hopes to take us through. We will delve into the history of the siddur, and note the similarities between the Friday night service and every other service in Jewish liturgy.

Judah HaLevi, the great 11th-century poet said, “Prayer is to the soul what food is to the body”. Our goal will be to make your experience of prayer more meaningful, to make it nourishing to your soul, a true conversation with God.

Join us—all are welcome!