One of the greatest gifts I was given when I came to the Shomrei community over three years ago was the opportunity to lead our family service, Hinei Mah Tov. Befitting the name of the service, we always open with the song “Hinei Mah Tov,” a song that is known by many melodies but lyrically highlights the importance of being together with our brothers and sisters; the version that we open with says, “How good it is, how sweet it is, to be with my sisters and brothers/ How good it is, how sweet it is in peace with one another.”
The reason that this service is such a gift to me is for exactly this reason: it’s an opportunity, for one hour once a month, to sing, pray, and enjoy a Shabbat experience with an always-learning community. An opportunity to put away our phones for one hour and engage Jewishly with each other and to show our children that we come together to learn and pray as a Jewish community not in spite of the fact that we have questions, but BECAUSE we have questions. The children have a chance to show their parents the songs and prayers they have been learning during JLC, and parents and grandparents have a chance to show their children that in this safe space, we are all still learning and growing on our Jewish journeys. No one is expected to walk through the door with a certain skill set or background knowledge; we are there to learn and grow together. The youngest children, many of whom are already comfortable praying and singing in our sanctuary because they attended Morah Heather’s joyous Shabbat every Friday morning in our preschool, are able to watch the older students’ enthusiasm and have a sense of where they are going. And the older students are able to see this journey through the eyes of the younger ones and are ready to take on a leadership role.
Below is a video of some of our 5th-grade students singing our HMT opening song. If you are new to JLC this year and don’t know it yet, feel free to have a listen with your children so that we can all join our voices together at the beginning of our service!!
I look forward with joy and song in my heart to one of my favorite hours of the month. Can’t wait to see everyone this Shabbat, children and caregivers, for an opportunity to have a peaceful and fun Shabbat hour together.
- See you this Shabbat, November 16!
- 10:00-11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary upstairs, followed by Kiddush and Hamotzi over challah and grape juice
- Parents/grandparents/caregivers/friends are always encouraged to attend; children 3rd grade and under are required to attend with an adult. If you are not able to attend with your child, just drop us (Heather, Aylah, and/or Lily) a quick note before Shabbat to let us know which friend or caregiver will be attending the service with your child.
- Following HMT services, children have Shabbat-friendly class time with their teachers downstairs in their regular classrooms
- Pickup at regular time, 12:00 downstairs
- All families are enthusiastically invited to kiddush lunch around 12:00 (at the conclusion of the main service) in the social hall!
Rabbinic Intern & Assistant Education Director
Congregation Shomrei Emunah
67 Park Street