- The Minyan has tapes and other aids
available for helping you learn how to lead services --
just ask the Davening Coordinator.
- The Davening Coordinator can also help
familiarize you with the davening customs of the Minyan.
- We have a guide
to the "short davening" that we do on Learning
Shabbatot. It is in Microsoft Word format.
- Jonathan Zimet has written up a rationale ("Minhag Yerushalmi") for further shortening of P'sukei D'zimra.
- On the Web, check out Virtual
Cantor, which has complete davening for Shabbat, Festivals,
High Holidays, and virtually everything else.
- Amy Little recommends the
AudioSiddur website. To find Birchot haShachar and
P'sukei D'zimrah, look under "Weekday Minyan."
(Page numbers are according to the new Siddur Sim Shalom,
not the edition we use.)
- Check out the sound
files at the Congregation Agudas Achim website -- be sure to scroll down. Amy says "the
cantor [Cantor Neil Blumofe, now Rabbi Neil Blumofe] has a pleasing voice and his pace is slow enough
for learning without being painfully plodding. Good clarity,
too." When asked to compare CAA to the Virtual Cantor,
Judith Weiss, former davening coordinator of Minyan Rimonim,
said, "The CAA hazzan enunciates more clearly, you
can hear the melody better. He doesn't sing it like a
cantor, but simply so you can follow the melody line and
learn it. But the Virtual Cantor has much more stuff;
this is just the Shabbat services."
- Here is a WAV file of a beautiful Stephen Foster tune that Trudy Balch will be using on Yom Kippur.
- Shabbat Parah
Rabbi Marion Shulevitz prepared this derash for March 10, 2007, but was unable to deliver it herself because she was with her husband, Bill, who was having surgery. In her place, other WSM members read Marion's derash and led the discussion.
Handy charts to help you serve as Gabbai. Note: at the West Side Minyan, we usually combine the seventh aliyah with the Maftir aliyah on days where a single sefer is used.
- Being invited to say the blessings before and after
a passage is read from the Torah. If you need help with
the Hebrew, just tell the gabbai. The person called up
(e.g., you) is the oleh.
- To say the Grace After Meals (Heb.: Birkat HaMazon).
- A printed book containing the weekly Torah and Haftarah
- In WSM usage, one who leads the prayer service. Elsewhere,
the same role might be called a Baal t'filah or
- D'var torah -- a brief talk about the week's
Torah or Haftarah reading, followed by a Torah Discussion.
The person giving the talk and leading the discussion
is also called the DT. Outside the WSM, a Torah Discussion
is rare, the DT might be called a D'rash, and the
person who gives it could be the Darshan.
- One or two people who officiate during the part of the
service when the Torah is read.
- The honor of rolling and dressing the Torah scroll after
the reading. It's a great honor but requires no Hebrew.
- One who has returned from a long trip, recovered from
an illness or faced recent danger might choose to say
the gomeil prayer ("bentsch gomeil"). If you'd
like to, speak to the gabbai.
- A reading from the Prophetic books of the Bible, done
after the chanting from the Torah scroll.
- The honor of lifting the Torah scroll after the reading.
Requires upper body strength.
- Hospitality Desk
- The Hospitality Desk is the welcome table right inside
the 100th Street entrance, where people can ask questions,
get Shabbat handouts, etc. The various minyanim at Ansche
Chesed rotate the staffing of the Hospitality Desk. It
involves arriving at 10 a.m. and sitting at the desk until
11 a.m. You greet people as they come in and answer questions,
such as where a particular service is located. Sometimes
people ask general questions about the shul. There's a
handout there for volunteers with all the basic info,
so it all runs pretty smoothly. To volunteer, contact
Ruth Kaufman. You
can check the Hospitality Desk Perpetual Calendar here.
- After services, a social gathering with snacks; also
the blessing over wine. Thus, one says kiddush (the blessing)
at the beginning of the kiddush (the gathering).
- Chanting from the Torah scroll. Can also refer to the
portion chanted ("What's this week's leining?").
The person who chants is the leiner.
- The last portion of the weekly Torah chanting or the
person who recites the blessings for it.
- Wood or metal pointer used in reading from the Torah
scroll. Sometimes an oleh is asked to use the yad to follow
the reading in the Torah scroll. If you can follow the
Hebrew prayers in the prayerbook, you should be fine.
Othrwise, just ask the gabbai to find someone else.
The Reform Movement has a handy online
Jewish glossary. And here's an Orthodox glossary.
Learning how to chant from the Torah
online Torah with sound files
Cantor has the High Holiday leining, plus Ruth, Esther,
Lamentations and Song of Songs
Barbara Sontz, our Leining Coordinator, has found this
program to be a helpful aid in learning to chant Torah.
A computer program to help beginners learn; it color-codes
the Torah trop (cantillation marks).
- Seventh Day Pesach reenactment of the
Crossing of the Reed Sea
A ritual for the Seventh Day Pesach
reenactment of the Crossing of the Reed Sea can be found
in Joe Rosenstein's Siddur Eit Ratzon, page 133.
Thanks to Jonathan Zimet for
pointing this out. Jeff Marker wrote to say that he created
the "Yom Layabashah" ritual at the WSM, "based
on pieces I found in Mea Sha'arim and from Rob Agus at
Fabrengen. I led it at WSM for many years and now lead
it in Park Slope. I am of course pleased that it continues
Jeff Marker wrote further:
"When I was in Israel in 1978-79, Pam Hoffman (now
rabbi) urged me to go to Mea Sha'arim to the shul of Reb
Areleh's chasidim on the 7th Day of Pesach. There the
chassidim form the sea and they part and the rebbe passes
through. I was impressed but remembered that it was the
whole people who passes through, not just the leader.
Meanwhile some year at Fabrengen, Rob Agus sang Yom Layabashah
to the tune 'Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Set on
Freedom.' So I took those two elements and created the
ritural for the 7th Day, probably in 1980 or 81."
Resources for coordinators