RESOURCES FOR SERVICES

At Kol Nefesh, we aim continually to improve the quality of our services. Over recent years, Chazan Jacky has led our Shlichei Tsibbur (prayer leaders) in an initiative to deepen our connection to the liturgy and nusach (traditional melodies), with the aim of ensuring a richer, more meaningful prayer experience. At the same time, Rabbi Joel has led us in learning how all those present at a service can derive meaning from the liturgical texts, and can heighten the energy in a service by joining in as active participants, humming and singing along with the prayer leader.

On this page, you'll find useful resources put together by Chazan Jacky and some of our members. You'll also find a record of our learning and discussions on the question of egalitarian language in prayer.

The Gift of the Gabbai

 

At KNM we want all members who wish to participate in running our services to be able to do so. These notes on the roles of the Shammas and Gabbai during the Torah Service were put together by KN's Nahum Gordon, and by Adam Levine of the NHC (National Havurah Committee) Summer Institute in the United States. We also occasionally run sessions for those who wish to take on these roles.

  • You'll find Nahum's Gabbai Notes here.

  • A step-by-step guide to the choreography of the Shabbat service for the Gabbai, Shammas and Segan can be found here.

  • Adam Levine's "Gabbinical School" notes can be found here.

V'atem Hadvekim

 

When we call up the first person to the reading of the Torah (often a Cohen but a Levi or Yisrael if there's no Cohen), the Gabbai chants a prayer, V’atem Had’vekim. This is a direct quote from the Torah (Deut 4:4): “And you who cleaved to the Lord your God are alive – every one of you – today!” For this reason, we recite it in the Torah trope (cantillation).

Click the links for the normal Shabbat melody and the one for the Yamim Noraim:

 

 

 

Va'atem Hadvekim-Shabbat -
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Va'atem Hadvekim - Yamim Nora'im -
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Yamim Nora'im Aliyah Blessings

On the Yamim Nora'im, a special nusach (melody) is used for the blessings chanted before and after each aliyah to the Torah. You can listen to it here:

 

  • For more on the Yamim Nora'im nusach, click here.

Blessings on the Yamim Nora'im -
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Learning Your Leyening

 

At Kol Nefesh, we take pride in the fact that we leyen (chant) the full sedra from the scroll each week. For those who know how to leyen but feel overwhelmed by the process of learning their portion, Meira Ben-Gad put together some tips, which eventually became an article in Kol HaKehilah. 

  • You'll find Meira's leyening tips here.

Egalitarian Language in Prayer


In 2018 and 2019, we engaged in learning and discussion on the issue of egalitarian language in prayer, and specifically the question of whether (and how!) the Imahot – the Matriarchs – should be included in the first blessing of the Amidah. This is an ongoing topic of discussion within the community. Our plan is to prepare a booklet containing different versions of the Amidah, so that we can experiment with them during our services. 

  • You'll find the notes of these discussions here.

  • For comments by Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts on the issue, click here.

Service Guide for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

We have guides to the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services.  These explain the various parts of these special services, and provide page numbers for the different machzorim (prayer books) we use at Kol Nefesh:

Rabbinical Assembly (US machzor, edited by Rabbi Harlow, 1972)

Silverman (US machzor, edited by Rabbi Silverman, 1939)

Lev Shalem (new US machzor, 2010)

Routledge (British machzor, 1906)

ROSH HASHANAH GUIDE

YOM KIPPUR GUIDE

These guides can be downloaded and printed in A5 format.

 
 

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