The most important thing to know… this is a really joyous occasion – just the fact that you are here to share this moment is enough… but, since some of you asked, here is a cheat sheet to keep it simple.
1. What’s this all about – Sasha’s entrance into religious adulthood (basically, she accepts responsibility for fulfilling the commandments & Mitzvot).
2. Mitzvot (huh?) – Jewish reminders to make the world a better place.
3. Dress code – Men/boys – suits, dockers, button down shirts/ties or polo shirts. No jeans or shorts. Women/girls – Dresses, skirts, nothing revealing. No jeans/shorts.
4. You’ll be greeted with “Shabbat Shalom”, which basically means “Good Sabbath” or “Peaceful Sabbath”. It’s ok to say thank you or say it back.
5. Head covering (kippot) – Men/boys, please wear one (It won’t make you Jewish, it’s an act of respect and we bought plenty for you). Women/girls, if you like, lace/bobby pins available (not required).
6. Prayer shawls – Reserved for Jewish guests who have had a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
7. Arrival time – invites say 9:30am, which is official time for Shabbat service. But you will notice people arrive later as most of the mitzvah activities take place later in service.
8. Temple etiquette – no picture taking, no texting, no Words with Friends, no Facebook, cell phones on silent … please.
9. Up and down and bowing – who knew Jewish services were so athletic? Just follow the Rabbi’s instructions and you’ll be fine!
10. Bathroom break? You’d think the best time to slip out would be when everyone is standing but it isn’t! Wait until the Rabbi tells people to sit… and slip out when people are starting to sit down.
11. Lunch – is served immediately after services (but only after we break bread and bless the wine!) Services generally last until about 12:15pm.