Your home is a place of worship, just like the synagogue. It’s where you pray, read from the same book, and offer your benedictions. In both locations, you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared in advance with effective prayers that will meet all of your needs. And when it comes to praying at home, there are many good ways to do so that won’t interfere with your schedule or take up time you don’t have. Here, religious educator Samuel Waldman shares seven easy steps you can take today to help you prepare for shul:
Define Your Need before Shul
Before you head to shul, make sure that you have a clear understanding of why you’re there. Perhaps you’re there to commemorate a loved one’s birthday or to celebrate a special event in your life. Before you head to shul, try to identify the need that is driving you there. You don’t have to wait until the last minute to start planning. You can begin by asking yourself the following questions: – Why do I need to go to shul today? – What problem or issue are I trying to solve by going to shul today? – Where do I need to be to have the most impact when I go to shul today? – How will I stay focused while I’m there? – What do I need to do before, during, and after shul? – Conclusion
In spite of the strong emphasis on communal worship in the post-Temple period, many aspects of Jewish life are observed and expressed in the home. Upon waking up in the morning, Jews recite a prayer. After washing their hands in a ritual manner and reciting a blessing, even how they dress is influenced by Jewish laws and values, explains Samuel Waldman.
Plan for the Event
If you’re planning on serving in the congregation or leading a children’s program, you’ll want to make sure that you’re well-prepared. That means that you’ll want to do your research and plan ahead so that you won’t forget anything. You may also want to consider bringing a friend along to help out if you’re planning on serving in the congregations. Having another person there to help you out can be incredibly helpful. You can:
– Identify the needs of the people in the room.
– Provide services according to who is requesting them.
– Offer other resources according to who is requesting them.
– Stay focused while serving because you won’t be putting yourself in any positions where you could get overwhelmed.
– Follow up with the person after the service to thank them for their time and for sharing their experiences with us.
Pray for Yourself
If you’re the one who’s going to be serving the congregation, you may want to make time for self-prayers before you get there. You can find a list of prayers that you can use at the end of this article. – Pray for guidance and wisdom. – Pray for strength. – Pray for health. – Pray for peace and spiritual strength. – Give thanks for what you have. – Conclusion
Invoke Everyone’s Memory
We all know that we should be leaving the people we love a legacy, but sometimes you have to actually do it. Write down a list of the ways that you want to be remembered, and then do everything in your power to make sure that you will be remembered as an effective person who loved her or him(s) very much. Be present for those you love, and make sure that you’re leaving something behind that will carry on their love for you in the memories of those who love them.
Have a Reading Bowl or Psalter At Hand
When you’re reading the Bible, using a reading bowl or a psalter can help you stay focused on the words without having to put extra thought into setting up a meeting with your loved ones. You’re probably familiar with the concept of using a balance scale to help you visualize where you’re at in your relationship with your partner. When you’re in a relationship, you’re working toward building a home, a financially secure lifestyle, and closer friendships. It’s natural to want to be present in your relationships, but you also have to let go and allow yourself to be present when you need to be. A reading bowl or psalter can be used as a “personal balance scale” to show you where you are in your relationship and how you can move forward together, adds noted academic and author, Samuel Waldman.
Wrap Up: Are You Prepared?
When you’re ready to head to shul, there are a few things that you’ll want to do in advance to ensure that you’re ready to go. First, make sure that you have a clear understanding of why you’re going to shul in the first place. Perhaps you’re there to commemorate a loved one’s birthday or to celebrate a special event in your life. Make sure that you’re not expecting to go to shul just to celebrate or relax and take it easy. Whatever it is that you’re looking forward to, make sure that you have a clear plan for dealing with it. If you do, you’ll be well-prepared when you get to shul.