Why do we sometimes stand and sometimes sit?
Our bodies are in the same position as the Torah. So if the Torah is out of the ark and vertical, so are our bodies. If the Torah is resting on the Torah stand, we are sitting. If the curtain is drawn open, we stand. If the curtain in front of the Torahs is closed we sit. Of course, there are other times and prayers we stand (Sh’ma), so sometimes it does seem like we are doing exercises and if you are not sure, just follow everyone else!
What is the mishebeirach prayer? Why are people calling out names?
Rabbi Forman will say, “At this time in our service we think about others in our community who are ill or in need of healing. In a few moments I’m going to ask you to share the names of your friends, family and loved ones…
Rabbi Forman will look around the room and people just call out names. You just say a name out loud, your children can do this too. It can be a friend, a teacher—anyone. Sometimes two people will say a name at the same time. It is as if they were said in unison. It is ok.
What happens if my child makes a fuss during services?
Please do not stress. Kids make noise. Kids drop prayer books. It is totally OK.
Can I bring my younger children/siblings to Or Chadash?
Yes! Of course. Strollers are always welcome inside the sanctuary if that is easier for you.
What is the room with the glass window and shade in the back of the sanctuary?
That is known as the “quiet” room. (aka Room Number Three!) You can see and hear what is going on in the sanctuary. It is soundproof! If you ever need a place for you or your child(ren) to be able to spread out and play with toys, “chill” or stretch–this is the room. You can go there, relax, and return to the sanctuary when/if you are ready (or not!).
Is it OK to leave the service in the middle if my child needs to take a break or go to the bathroom?
Yes, of course! But try not to during the Kaddish prayer. See below.
What is the Kaddish prayer and why does the mood seem different in the sanctuary during this prayer?
If there was one time in the service where you as a parent want to teach/instill/introduce “service decorum”–even to a young(er) child(ren) this might be it. The Kaddish prayer is a special prayer that is said at the end of the service. We stand up when we say this prayer. It is a prayer for those people in our community who are remembering loved ones who are no longer with us and the importance of the quietness and the serenity and dignity and reverence and respect for their thoughts during this special time. SO–this is the one time in the service that we would prefer there to be no bathroom breaks. Again, it is a learning process.
What should I wear?
OC has no formal dress policy. Anything goes. Although Saturday mornings during a Bar/Bat Mitzvah folks are much more “dressed up.” Most boys/men have buttons on their shirts and pants–as in shirts with collars and no sweatpants.
How long will this service last?
Our goal is for the service to last one hour. All of our family services (these occur monthly) are designed to be one hour in length to accommodate young children. Family services begin at 7:00 PM.
What is a celebratory oneg?
Oneg (translated to delight) is the party/food/snacks/dessert that happens immediately after services. It is a time to shmooze with your fellow congregants. Children are expected to take a bite of a cookie and then decide they want a bite of a brownie. There is coffee served. It is always decaf in the evening. (OC programs in the morning serve caffeinated coffee.)