I’m in school to gain my teaching license, and one assignment for one class consists of attending a cultural event outside of one’s normal activities. I’ve decided to go to a shabbat service; a friend of mine in town said that the local reform synagogue was very welcoming, and I know they’ve got a shabbat seder at 5:45 tonight, and a Tot Shabbat at 6:45.
I’ve got no idea what the difference between these is, or which would be more appropriate for me to attend, or whether I need to be more dressed up for one than for the other, etc. Does anyone have any advice for me? If I go to the later one, I can change clothes (put on dress shoes instead of hiking boots and clothes that aren’t dusted with dog hairs). Do I need some sort of head covering?
While I haven’t seen the term “Shabbat Seder” at our Synagogue, I’m willing to guess that it’s a Shabbat dinner held before services for the congragation. You may want to check ahead, as often those meals are by RSVP, in order to plan for the meal.
A Tot Shabbat is a service geared towards the youngest of children (toddlers-preschoolers). The prayers are explained more fully, some may be streamlined and often will include a child friendly activity, such as a book reading.
To a novice, it may be helpful, as much of the service is explained for the kids. You may want to see if there is a Family service, often geared toward older kids, and may be more meanigful.
Have fun and Shabbat Shalom! (means “Good Sabbath/Shabbat” or Peaceful Sabbath/Shabbat- typical greating at services)
Okay–with y’all’s advice, I went to the 7:30 service, and that was the right one to go to. It was very interesting, especially when compared to the Catholic mass that I attended (on a similar assignment from the same professor) a couple of months ago.