Rabbi's Column - Summer 2017

Dear Friends -

The months of July and August are upon us and we are going to take advantage of these summer days with some special opportunities here at TBT.

First, I want to thank everyone who responded to my query about 6pm summer services. I was astounded by the enthusiasm that was registered by so many of you. Here is a smattering of responses so you get a taste:

"I like the earlier time for senior citizens."

"We might actually make it there with the kids if it was earlier. We like the idea!"

"We would prefer a 6pm start time."

"Our family would like 6:00pm summer services."

"Sounds like a great idea to me."

"Sounds good to me!"

Nevertheless, I was sobered by the responses from those who prefer
the 7:15pm service: "We would be unable to come."

"I prefer the services at 7:15."

"I am on a late schedule, so 6:00 seems rather early to me."

So what should we do? If this were a strictly democratic process, the answer would be easy. There were 91% in favor; 9% against. But the idea that moving the service to 6pm might preclude households from ever coming gives us pause. Then again, there were those who said that the 7:15pm service was too late for their family and precluded them from coming.

We wrestled with these issues at the Religious Activities Committee. We reminded ourselves that no decision has to be forever. We don't want to be afraid to try something new. We are speaking specifically about six services {3 in July and 3 in August) that would be impacted by the change. Our September through June schedule of First Fridays at 6pm and all other Fridays at 7:15pm still stands.

So...yes! We are moving to ALL 6pm services this July/August. All services at TBT will begin in the front hall with a "Pre- Neg" and the first prayers of Kabbalat Shabbat. At 6:20pm, we will move together into the sanctuary to complete our service. First Fridays will end at 7pm and others by 7:15pm so you can plan a leisurely Shabbat dinner following services.

 One more thing! Unsolicited by the poll, several of you also wrote "Don't forget Beach Shabbat!" Our July 7th service will be ON THE BEACH at East Wharf at 6pm, followed by an Oneg, hosted once again {with our great appreciation!) by Lisa & Eric Rich at their home which is around the corner from the beach. You can also note that our "Shabbat Under the Stars" Shindig will be on the TBT deck on Friday, August 25.

 Here's to a wonderful summer of Shabbat Services,

Rabbi Offner