Hmmm. I could do that!


I was a little nervous.  I was getting ready  to go to Shomrei on a Saturday morning.  It wasn’t for a yoga class with Elissa and it wasn’t for an @nourish discussion.  I was going for a Shabbat experience with the Rabbi at the alternative service names “Pure & Simple”.

“Pure & Simple” is a monthly Shabbat experience led by the Rabbi that starts at 10:30am in the morning.

A few weeks earlier, I had been chatting with Gilda Schwartz and her friend Susan after an @nourish discussion. We were talking about how much we enjoyed coming to Shomrei on Shabbat to be part of the community to learn a little something. Susan mentioned that’s why she enjoyed the monthly alternative Shabbat service with the Rabbi.  “Exactly what is it about the service you like so much?” I asked. “More English, more explanations.”  she replied.

Hmmm, I could do that.

So when “Pure & Simple” came around, I had to give it a try.  For someone who didn’t grow up going to weekly Shabbat services (even though we ALWAYS had Challah on Friday night, blessings optional),  it was going to be a leap of faith.

The rabbi seamlessly moved from the history of wrapping  ourselves in a skein of cloth  – to a profound discussion about how Abraham’s servant seeking a spouse for Isaac identifies himself to the family of a potential wife – to space for reflection. And many things in between!

The beauty of “Pure & Simple” is that it’s a Shabbat experience that can be enjoyed alike by novice synagogue attendees and seasoned congregants, people with little knowledge of Hebrew and people with multiple Masters Degrees in Jewish education.  (Ask Malka!)

If you like to learn, like to be a part of a community, want to celebrate Shabbat, “Pure & Simple” is an experience you don’t want to miss.

See you next month at 10:30am!

Editor’s Note:

“pure & simple” (formerly “Avodah she-ba-lev”) is Shomrei’s alternative Shabbat service. With discussion, English prayers, silent meditation and heartfelt song, this monthly service opens up the core of Jewish prayer and values in a comfortable setting and at an easy pace. Open to all who seek to touch and be touched by the wellsprings of Jewish living.

The schedule of “pure & simple” services is:

Dec 9, 2017
Jan 13, 2018
Feb 17, 2018
Mar 17, 2018
Apr 21, 2018


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Liza Cohn-Wallach

Liza Cohn-Wallach

Liza taught 5th grade in East Orange and then practiced law in New York City, before returning to Montclair, her hometown, to raise two boys with her husband Bill Wallach.She was actively involved in the Montclair Public Schools where she served as PTA President at both Watchung School and Buzz Aldrin Middle School.Her boys,who both attended Shomrei Pre-School, are now college students, freeing up time for Liza to practice her approach shot on the tennis courts.
Liza Cohn-Wallach

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3 thoughts on “Hmmm. I could do that!

  1. Awesome you found a service that is meaningful for you. I hope others also check it out one Saturday just for the experience

  2. Liza, So nice to see you at “Pure & Simple.” Hope you become a regular at this wonderful Shabbat service that can be experienced on so many levels.

  3. I especially like feeling free to ask the Rabbi questions in an intimate, non-judgmental atmosphere. In the formal service I would not feel that way

What do you think?