First of all, Welcome to Tzur Yisrael! We are happy to have you.
We know that going to a new place for the first time can sometimes be a little intimidating. You are never quite sure what to expect. What should I bring? How should I dress? How long will the service be? Etc. Well, have no fear. We want to make sure that you have the best time engaging with the Lord, so we wrote this page to explain some basics. We are a new congregation currently meeting in the Rabbi’s home.
Our services start at 11 am and go until 1:30 pm. We have traditional prayer for about 30 min followed by praise and worship for about 30 min followed by a yeshiva / Bible study style of studying and chewing on the Word which generally lasts about an hour and a half. We have an oneg / pot luck lunch after service. The lunch isn’t part of the service, just a nice way to connect and fellowship. Hope to see you soon!
Our Service Structure
We value the tradition of reciting the prayers from the Siddur (Jewish prayer book). They are deeply personal, yet are widely applicable. They serve to unite our community in a common perspective exalting God for who He is, and who we are in Him. Some prayers evoke an intimate and humble spirit, a time of reflection, while others are joyful, thanking God for what He has done for us. We sing some prayers in Hebrew and read some in English. All of the prayers are on the screen with transliteration so it will be easy for you to follow along with the Hebrew and read the English.
Praise and Worship
The second part of our service is the Praise and Worship portion. Praise and Worship encompasses many different things: singing before the King, lifting holy hands, dancing with all your might, etc. The most important thing is not our vocal ability or elaborate footwork, but UNITY. It is in the place of unity that God declares a blessing, even life forevermore, Psalm 133:1-3. I am convinced that God loves it when we worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Personally, I have spent many years in dance ministry, and love to dance before the Lord. David, too, loves exalting the Lord in dance. There is truly no other expression of worship like it, submitting your whole being to Him is truly powerful and deeply freeing. (I have special testimony about that…which I would be happy to share when you visit us.) Like many Messianic congregations, praising the Lord in the dance (Psalm 150), aka Davidic dance, is an integral part of our worship. (We have dance classes throughout the year for anyone who wants to learn the basic steps.) There is NO obligation to dance of course, only the privilege. Whatever way you choose to give honor to the Rock of our Salvation, I know that He is pleased with our sacrifice of praise. Personally, for me, nothing gives my heart more pleasure than to see God’s people all in one place giving Him all the glory due His name. With 100% kavanah (heart’s intention), may we hold nothing back, because He deserves it ALL!
The third and final portion of our service is centered around the Word of God. As our namesake suggests, we want to be founded upon the Rock and not upon the sand. A solid foundation upon Messiah Yeshua and on His Word is essential! “Man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4) It is a joy to be able to chew on “meat” with fellow believers. We are able to learn from one another and gain a deeper understanding of the Word of God that is real and powerful. We are not interested in a superficial reading of the Bible or half-hearted application. We desire to be true disciples of Messiah in every way, and relish the opportunity to grow and be refined. Our practice is to read the weekly Torah portion and discuss it with one another. My husband and I will illuminate different parts for your edification, and further study. Join us for a yeshiva style of discussion, and be prepared to be strengthened in His Word.
Things to Know
What to Bring
Bring a Bible, and something to take notes, ie. notepad, pen, etc.
Bring your talit if you are a man, or a head scarf if you are a woman (if you don’t have either of these, no worries we have extras that you may borrow).
If you have a Siddur, you may bring it although all of the prayers will be on the screen.
If you intend to worship, feel free to bring your tambourine, dance shoes, etc.
What to Wear
We want to show the Lord our reverence when we come before Him. We want to make this day set-apart for the Lord, special in all its ways, extending even to our clothing. It is for this reason that we try to wear clothes that we normally don’t wear on weekdays. Generally, for most people, this means business casual. Please keep your clothing modest. We want to make sure that our focus is on the Beauty of HIS Holiness, not on physical beauty. Please wear clothing that will enable you to worship freely and fully. Finally and most important, do not let feeling like you don’t have appropriate clothes deter you from worshiping with us. Just put on what you have that is best, and let God do the rest!
After Service Oneg / Lunch
After every service, we have a fellowship lunch. This is a time for us to catch up with one another and break bread together. It starts right after service, usually at 1:30 pm. It is a pot luck style lunch. If you would like to bring something to share, you are more than welcome. Please remember that we honor the Word in its dietary restrictions, so please do NOT bring any pork, ham, bacon, shellfish, or any fish that does not have fins and scales, etc.
We look forward to meeting you! If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us.