For 54 years Temple Emunah has prided itself on building a strong community where our members participate in the full life of our religious rituals. Empowering Jews to daven (lead services), leyn Torah and chant the haftarah is part and parcel of the Emunah experience.
In order to enhance our services, Temple Emunah is commissioning its own Sefer Haftarot - a scroll of all the prophetic passages we read on Shabbat and holidays. How wonderful is it to open up our ark doors and see the beautiful sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls). Now, we can look forward to adding to that group with a Sefer Haftarot scroll to highlight the spiritual sanctity and meaning of the prophetic readings. Our prophets were the great innovators of Judaism, infusing our tradition with morality, justice, religious fervor and, most of all, hope. Now, their teachings can occupy an even more central place in our experience.
So often have we been moved by the wonderful way our congregants meaningfully and skillfully chant the haftarah including, and especially, our students.
Not only will this new Sefer Haftarot enhance our religious experience, but it will also provide a meaningful way to sponsor a unique spiritual object. It will also help sustain our community. In Mark's remarks at Kol Nidrei, he spoke about the many improvements and repairs that were made in our building the summer under the leadership of Susan Rubenstein.
We were fortunate that we had the capital funds to make the many repairs and to convert our heating system from oil to gas. Now that we have completed these projects, it is time to make sure that the funds for sustaining our community will be there for our future needs. This year we have an opportunity to not only enhance our Shabbat services, but also to insure that we can fund the needs of our community in the future by commissioning our own Sefer Haftarot scroll.
By commissioning our own Sefer Haftarot, we will have the opportunity to add a powerful new aspect to our Shabbat service and to create a special liturgical legacy for current and future generations at Temple Emunah. The Sefer Haftarot will serve as a connection between generations past, present, and future through the dedication of individual haftarot, verses, words, letters, and more by our members.
Click HERE to read the program from our Dedication Ceremony on November 15, 2015.
Click HERE to read Rabbi Lerner's article about this project, Chanting A Legacy.