Special Guitar Friday Night Shabbat Service

Special Guitar Friday Night Shabbat Service

Join us for our Second Friday Night Service with Guitar!!!
This Shabbat we will, for the second time, enjoy the sounds of a guitar to go along with the sounds of our singing at Friday Night Services!!!
The guitar will be used only at the beginning portion of the service, so be sure to be on time!
Services begin at 7:30 pm, Friday, July 17th – looking forward to seeing you there!!!

The following excerpt was taken from the July/August 2015 Newsletter.

Dear SOJC,

Those of you who were able to join us this past Friday evening, June 19th, noticed a significant difference in our services than any you’ve ever attended on Shabbat here at SOJC. Thechange was the addition of a guitar, played beautifully by our very own Ezra Sagotsky (who also happens to be a member of our SOJC Low Stress choir!). I know that everyone who was there would agree that this addition, while new to us at our synagogue, only added to the spirituality we all felt singing songs that we’ve sung many times before, and without question brought us closer to God as we brought in Shabbat. I want to express my appreciation to Ezra and to Cantor Ramsay for bringing this incredible experience to SOJC and helping us continue the work of building and transforming our community.

One of the questions that was asked of me when I first interviewed at SOJC more than four years ago was my feelings about including musical instruments in the Shabbat service. Those of you who were there that morning when I was asked that question might recall that the answer I gave then was precisely how we practiced that evening. What I said at the time, and how I still feel, is that for us as a synagogue affiliated with the Conservative Movement the halachically appropriate way for us to play musical instruments during Shabbat services is to do so on Friday nights when Shabbat begins late enough after our services (meaning a few months over the summer) and to do so during the first part of the Kabbalat Shabbat portion of the service which transitions us from weekday into Shabbat. As we did on June 19th, the guitar was played through L’cha Dodi and then we put it away, lit the Shabbat candles and continued on with our service.

It was a conscious decision to start this new tradition at SOJC the way we did, with one guitar in a relaxed, even low key (though not necessarily on the guitar) setting. It is most certainly my hope and prayer that the number of instrument and number of songs we do – while continuing to hold by the requirements of Jewish law I alluded to above – will only grow. If you are a talented musician who’d like to join us and play during our services, please email Cantor Ramsay to let him know – cantor@sojc.org. I can foresee this becoming a very popular summer service for the rest of this summer and certainly in future summers here at SOJC.

In that light, I’d like to let you all know that Ezra and his guitar will be joining us twice more this summer, the first on July 17 and then again on August 7. Sadly, after that candle lighting gets to be too early for us to have our musical instruments. But please join us those two Friday nights (and all the ones in between) for our new Guitar Friday night services as we usher in new ideas and new inspiration to SOJC.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer!


Rabbi Hillel Skolnik