[ Home ]

[ Asiyah ]

[ Yetzirah]

[ Briyah]

[ Atzilut]

[Calendar]

 

( Doing )

( Feeling )

( Knowing )

( Being )

 

 

 

 

ATZILUT - Spirituality

This is the realm of the spirit: closest to the Source of It All. Our souls and the souls of all other beings fill this world at all times. Sometimes we are more aware of the world of Atzilut, sometimes less. As the Kotzker Rebbe taught, God is available to us whenever we let God in.

 

 

 

Prayer (davenen). The heart and soul of Or Shalom is our Shabbat morning davenen. It is the time when we come together as a community and to deepen and strengthen our spiritual lives.

Shabbat services are held weekly at the Or Shalom bayit at 10th and Fraser. We begin at 10 am and conclude around 12:30. Like many synagogues, we read the Torah on a triennial cycle. During 5770 we are reading the final third of the weekly reading. We only occasionally read the Haftorah and rarely daven Musaf. Following services we usually share a kiddush lunch together.

 

On most Shabbat mornings 40-60 people come for davenen. Or Shalom members share with the rabbi in leading most parts of the prayer service and d'var torah (the teaching and discussion of the weekly Torah portion) - the lineup of prayer leaders is available here. Or Shalom davenen combines traditional Hebrew liturgy and music with new expressions of prayer. Much of our music has been created by our own members or others involved in the Jewish Renewal movement. Some of our members' liturgy and writings can be found elsewhere on this site. Brief teachings and kavanot (intentions) are woven into the davenen. While we have a deep consistent rhythm from Shabbat to Shabbat, each week's davenen has its own special way of reflecting the mood of the community and the spirit of the person leading.

 

Because we know we are all in different stages of Jewish spiritual growth, we are committed to making our prayer services as accessible as possible. Even without knowing Hebrew or having much background in traditional Jewish ways of prayer, newcomers can find deep levels of meaning and connectedness. Our singing and open heart space offer access beyond the level of language. Those wishing to learn Hebrew are advised to consider adult classes given frequently through the Jewish Community Centre.

We look to each other for leadership. Those who are familiar with traditional nusach (liturgy) are invited to lead sections of tefilla (prayer). Those without deep background are also invited to assume leadership - learning the prayers and weaving them with your own studies of Reb Nachman, Martin Buber or Thich Nhat Hanh will enrich us all. To sign up for a turn at leading prayer, reading Torah, or giving a D'var Torah, call the office or email us.

 

Several times a year we have a Shabbat service specially focused on the participation of families and youth.

Once a month we hold a Kabalat Shabbat service on Friday nights. To learn the schedule of Friday night services, alternate minyan locations, Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies and other special prayer times, please consult the calendar of events.

Please note that we have some shared practices for the sake of community: ie. We don't use cameras on Shabbat. Please turn off all beepers. Men cover their heads. Anyone is welcome to wear a tallit. Call out your appreciations - don't clap. Observe our food and kashrut guidelines.

 

Back to Top

Holiday celebrations. We celebrate the full cycle of the Jewish Year: Shabbat, all the holidays, including Rosh Hodesh (the beginning of the new Hebrew month). It is our custom to daven together on Shavuot and on the first and last days of Passover and Sukkot. At Passover, we usually have a community seder open to all. Naturally we have a roaring good time on Simchat Torah, wild costumes on Purim, candlelit evenings at Chanuka, bonfires on the beach for Lag B' Omer, study evenings for Tisha B'Av and Leil Shavuot, etc. All of these events take organizing effort - and reflect the interests of the people who make them happen. YOUR EFFORTS are needed here - please call the office to get involved.

 

Because our community expands significantly for the High Holidays, we observe Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur at the Jewish Community Centre at 41st Ave. and Oak St. (insider's tip: the second day of Rosh Hashanna is usually smaller and more personal than the first). It is our policy not to require tickets for the High Holidays - but we certainly expect that all attendees will contribute financially what they can! Members and High Holyday participants can request advance seating for Erev Yom Kippur, by returning the request envelope a few weeks beforehand, or by contacting the office.

 

For current information about holiday activities, listen to the recorded message at (604) 872-1614 or click on the calendar of events.

Life cycle events. All the traditional markers within Jewish life, as well as many non-traditional ones, can be celebrated within the Or Shalom community. Ceremonies are designed to combine new and old liturgy, music and customs into a personally meaningful event for the celebrating individual or family. Read about our Bar/Bat Mitzvah policies. Baby namings bless our Shabbat services. A committee of members is helping shape our responses to death and burial.

 

We do perform same-sex marriages in accord with civil legislation and in a way in keeping with Jewish tradition.  While Or Shalom's rabbi does not conduct intermarriage ceremonies, interested persons can contact Rabbi Dina-Hasida Mercy or link to her web page www.rabbi-mercy.com

 

Back to Top

Social Action. Or Shalom is committed to tikkun olam, helping to repair the inequities in this world. Past tikkun olam projects have included sponsorship of refugees from Bosnia, fund-raising for Rosa House (a centre for women and children war refugees in Zagreb, Coatia), participation in Vancouver's annual Gay Pride Parade.    Another initiative is Adam va'Adamah, a group concerned about our environment and a Jewish response to it. Adam va-Adamah has grown to a separate organization - here is their website.

We are pleased to consider supporting any projects - whether they be for community welfare, environmental action, political change, etc- which a group of members undertakes to organize. To initiate or support such action, or to make a donation towards any tikkun olam project, contact our Administrator at (604) 872-1614. For information about our Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) Committee, email hwilkes@interchange.ubc.ca

Back to Top

For further information on any of these matters
 please call Or Shalom at (604) 872-1614

 

 

 


[ Home ]

[ Asiyah ]

[ Yetzirah]

[ Briyah]

[ Atzilut]

[Calendar]

 

( Doing )

( Feeling )

( Knowing )

( Being )