Can I expect these services to happen weekly? If so, at what time and what will a typical Shabbat service look like?
- Our plan is to continue to offer a virtual service weekly until public health restrictions have been lifted to the point where we can again gather in person. Each Saturday we will begin at 10:00am and the service will last approximately 1½ hours. Our service will be led by a small number of people (Rabbi and congregants) from the sanctuary. Some parts will also be led by congregants from home. Please see the attached outline of the service for more information.
Does it make sense if I wear a tallit during the virtual service in my home? Should I stand when we typically do in the synagogue?
- Among our goals are to provide a sense of spiritual connection for congregants and to provide a sense of normalcy in this unusual time. Preparing yourself to enter and participate in our virtual prayer space should be the same as entering and participating in the sanctuary to pray. If you typically wear a kippah and/or tallit when you come to Shabbat services, you are encouraged to do so for our virtual service as well. As you participate in the virtual service, it is appropriate to rise for certain parts of the service, even when participating virtually.
If I don’t have a siddur or chumash, how can I follow along with the service?
- We would like to see that everyone is able to follow along with the service. You have three options for following along at home:
- You can borrow a siddur from the shul. Please contact Kate to make arrangements; she will gladly lend you a siddur. As a part of this process, she will keep a record so that we can ensure that all siddurim are available once we return to in-person services.
- You can download and print the pages for Shabbat morning services from the Rabbinical Assembly website. Please select “Siddur Lev Shalem: Shabbat Morning.” Weekly Torah readings can also be downloaded here.
- We know that many of you have a copy of Siddur Sim Shalom at home. Attached to this document, you’ll find an outline of the service with page number conversions so you can follow along in this siddur as well.
If I would like an honour who do I call and what computer requirements do I need to participate?
- You may either contact Kate in the office or Ian Felgar to inquire about participation. Each week, we will be looking for a few people to chant a Torah reading from the chumash as well as people to read items such as the Prayer for Israel and Prayer for Peace. Any device that can run the Zoom application is appropriate for this purpose.
I noticed that we are muted most of the time, but sometimes are unmuted. Why does this happen and how can I know when I will be unmuted?
- Although the Zoom platform has many benefits (including the ability to see each other and participate remotely, one of its limitations is group singing. When many people are singing together on Zoom, the sound becomes quite garbled and it can be disorienting. At certain points in the service, we feel that it is important to hear each other. Please see the outline of the service for an idea of when you may be unmuted. We will also try our best to give a warning prior to hitting the unmute button.
Should I be participating from my sofa, the kitchen? Are there any recommendations on where it would be most appropriate to attend in my home, halachically speaking?
- Please choose a location that allows you to focus on your participation in the service with minimal distractions. Please consider turning off your cell phone ringer and disabling notifications on the device that you are using. We also kindly ask that you refrain from participating from your washroom.
Can I share this Zoom link with my extended family or is it just Beth Tikvah members?
- A point of pride for our Beth Tikvah community is our warm, welcoming environment. Just as we welcome visitors to our community to an in-person Shabbat service, we would be happy to have guests attend virtually. Please share the Zoom link as needed.
I would like to learn more about Zoom, any resources I should be looking at?
- The Zoom website has a wealth of tutorials and videos on how the various features work. Please note that many of the interactive functions of Zoom are disabled during our virtual services. This is done both to ensure a positive spiritual experience and connection for all during the service and also to ensure that we adhere to as many of the halachic restrictions for Shabbat as possible.
© 2017 Beth Tikvah Synagogue, Richmond, BC, Canada