The Brotherhood of Temple Beth Shalom in Cape Coral gave its rabbi a breather as it took over the regular Shabbat (Sabbath) service Friday night, Feb. 21. Members of the brotherhood participated in leading the songs and prayers, and in responsive readings. To the delight and astonishment of the congregation, Marc Einstein chanted the Torah reading. He is the only person besides the rabbi who can read the ancient Aramaic text that is written without vowels. The Torah portion of the week is chanted and its incantations are derived from symbols written above the vowel-less letters. So it is a triple challenge that Einstein took on when he prepared for this service.
Rabbi Devora Buchen sat watching and admiring the men who led the service. It is a reversal from ancient times when women were not allowed on the synagogue floor while services were held; they had to sit in the balcony or behind a curtain drawn down the middle of the synagogue separating men and women. There is one part of the service the rabbi led; the ancient Kaddish prayer that is read commemorating the anniversary of loved ones who have passed away.
After the service an Oneg Shabbat, or Sabbath Delight, was sponsored by the brotherhood and refreshments were served after two final prayers; one prayer over the traditional Challah (bread) and the Kiddush, a prayer sung over wine in a celebration of life.
Past President Marty Burnette carries
the Torah completely around the sanctuary
for everyone to touch
Two future brotherhood members of Temple Beth Shalom, Adrian and Gabriel, held the Challah while the prayers were offered. The Brotherhood Shabbat Service is an annual tradition of Temple Beth Shalom.