To stand at the Torah and read its ancient text out of
the scroll is something that we all hope our children and grandchildren
will accomplish on the day they celebrate becoming a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. But reading Torah is not only for our
children. Our tradition teaches that it
is a great mitzvah to read Torah from a scroll publicly, on behalf of our
congregation, and this mitzvah ensures the continuation of the chain of Jewish
tradition within our community from generation to generation.
Congregation Beth Shalom’s corps of Torah readers, dubbed the “Yad Squad,” is
open to all members of our community over the age of Bar or Bat Mitzvah who
have some level of proficiency in decoding Hebrew. Members of the Yad Squad perform this
valuable mitzvah of reading Torah at Beth Shalom on Shabbat mornings and
mincha, as well as weekday mornings and holidays, while strengthening their own
connection with their synagogue, the Hebrew language, its ancient chants, and
our Jewish heritage. We invite you to
become a part of this growing circle of Torah readers. We have several parent-child,
grandparent-grandchild and family Torah reading teams, and that is a wonderful
way to inspire and be inspired by the next generation of your family.
We offer two Torah Reading classes. They meet weekly on
Tuesday evenings for 6 weeks during late session Hebrew. Two levels will be offered, each 3 times
during the year.
Introduction to Chanting Torah meets from 6:15-7:00
p.m. on Tuesdays. Focus is on learning
(or reviewing) the Torah chanting melodies, developing fluency in reading
Hebrew, and rudimentary grammar and vocabulary of the Torah. It is appropriate
for anyone 13 and up who either has never read Torah or hasn’t for years. It is also appropriate for anyone who does
know how to read Torah, but has relied in the past on recordings and
memorization to do it. Basic skills in
decoding Hebrew are a prerequisite.
Intermediate Torah Chanting meets from 7-7:45 p.m. Tuesdays. Appropriate
for those who already know the Torah cantillation system, the focus will be on
strengthening skills and learning the cantillation systems for High Holidays,
Tisha B’av and the Festivals. Emphasis
will be on developing greater fluency and comfort reading Hebrew and applying
the melodies of the tropes to the text.
Some past experience reading Torah are a prerequisite.
Eighth grade and High School students are given Hebrew
School credit, as Yad Squad is a post-bar mitzvah continuing education
Classes will begin on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, and there
will be 3 sessions of each class offered through the year, as follows:
First session of classes 10/16, 10/23, 10/30, 11/6, 11/13,
Second session of classes 1/8, 1/15, 1/22, 2/5, 2/12, 2/19
Third session of classes
3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23