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October 4, 2015 | 21st Tishrei 5776


  1. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    Our congregation currently does a candle lighting and Kiddush as part of our Friday evening services. Our Shabbat Committee has started to discuss adding the Motzi to the service. We would like to hear from congregations that currently do the Motzi. Is there one small challah for the people on the bimah only? Do congregations offer challah during their Onegs?
    600 plus families

  2. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    We offer cookies (and sometimes fresh fruit, in season) at our Onegs, along with drinks, but do not offer challah and wine/grape juice. We say mezunot from the bimah right before the Oneg, and invite children to stand with the rabbi and get first crack at the cookies. This gives the children a reason to stick around for the whole service, too; they like being up in front of everyone.

    While I don't know the motivations behind this, I note that this takes care of some issues that more-observant members might care about while not inconveniencing anyone else. Someone on the bimah eats a cookie right after the blessing (so no risk of a blessing said in vain), and no one has to worry about bentching after bread. And everyone seems to like the cookies. :-)

    ~865 households

  3. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    We do candles and Kiddush during all Erev Shabbat Services. At the Oneg after our informal 6:00 services (first and third (and fifth) weeks) there are wine and challah and usually a vegetable tray. After the 8:00 services (second and fourth weeks) there are sweets and a fruit tray--no challah.

    On Shabbat morning, if there is a bar or bat mitzvah, Kiddush and Motzi are chanted by the bar or bat mitzvah on the bimah. On other weeks, we join together in Kiddush and Motzi over the Kiddush table, having sung V'Shamru at the end of services in the sanctuary.

    400+ member units

  4. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    Our rabbi is not comfortable leading the Motzi from the bimah. At the end of services (before the closing song) our [congregation’s] president, or another officer, does their welcome/announcements. They then invite up to the bimah to join in the Motzi, b'nei mitzvah children and anyone else who has received an honor that evening (special birthday, anniversary, etc). We have an unsliced challah on a platter. We also have one or two sliced challahs at the Oneg. We tried doing the Motzi in the Oneg room, but it was too difficult to gather 200+ people together.
    1000+ family units

  5. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    Our congregation has done Motzi at the end of the Friday evening service for as long as I can remember. A very large challah is ordered every week. Those on the bimah, as well as the b’nei mitzvah, say the b’rachah and have a taste. The challah is then brought into the social hall and sliced for all to sample a piece. It’s an excellent challah, and it usually gets devoured.
    1150 units

  6. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    We do typically say Motzi in the community hall--the first sizable group to gather there sings it and can immediately enjoy challah (usually available) or other cookies/cake etc. It is often, but not always, the congregation president, past president, or other board member who takes the initiative to start the blessing. But it can be anyone. As others straggle in, of course they can say it individually if they wish.
    (420 households)

  7. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-1

    We [at our congregation] say Kiddush and Motzi after all Shabbat serivces. When there is a small group, we say it in the small kitchen. If there is a larger group, we join together in our gathering/recreation room.

    We have one or two challahs depending upon who is sponsoring the Oneg. We do not say Kiddush or Motzi from the bimah.

    Approximately 20 families

  8. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    Now that we have a full time rabbi we say the Motzi after Kiddush in the social hall. The Kiddush is said in front of the bimah. Before the rabbi, we called all the kids under bar/bat mitzvah age up to the bimah and said it together.

    During this transition, we moved from a storefront with 75 [family] units to a real building with nearly 117 units. It was nice and cozy and meaningful when we called the kids to the bimah; now it is ritualistic, formulaic and relatively spiritless.

    And we have one large challah for all to share, and two smaller ones. The larger one is unsliced, and the rest are sliced. The rabbi always leads the Motzi. In the past it was the visiting rabbi or the service leader who led the Motzi. If there is a simchah, the child leads the Motzi with the rabbi's assistance.

    117 plus units and growing

  9. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    In our previous synagogue, the rabbi called the kids up to the bimah for the Motzi, and we had over 400 families at that time. It was nice.

  10. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    We used to do HaMotzi from the bimah with just the rabbi and any children present taking part, but for the last twenty years we all gather in a small room outside the synagogue where everyone has wine, the rabbi leads Kiddush and HaMotzi, and the challah is cut and passed round to everyone there. If there are two services going on, which is on most Erev Shabbat, each service has their own Kiddush. With a large congregation, such as for a b'nei mitzvah, we move to a larger hall when the rabbi will lead Kiddush and the bar/bat mitzvah HaMotzi.
    720 families

  11. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    We do candle lighting and Kiddush as part of our Friday Evening Service; however, the Motzi is done at the Oneg and the challah is large enough for all to partake. We also have a tray of wine and grape juice available and the cantor leads us in the blessing prior to the Motzi.

    278 units

  12. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    We're a very small congregation (38 families), and we do candle lighting from the bimah, Kiddush sometimes from the bimah and sometimes at the Oneg, and Motzi at the Oneg. We usually have ten to fifteen people at services, so it isn't too hard to get everyone into the social hall!

    We have student rabbis and lay leaders, and the person leading the service decides whether Kiddush will be in the sanctuary or part of the Oneg. When it's part of the Oneg, we pour wine and/or grape juice for everyone. We usually have a challah at the Oneg. Since a local supermarket stocks Kineret frozen challot, it's not too much of a burden on the Oneg sponsor.

    38 families

  13. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    Our congregation does the Motzi immediately after services at the Oneg. The rabbi comes in and leads it and everyone joins in. After that, people can go ahead and enjoy the Oneg.
    300 plus families

  14. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-2

    For Erev Shabbat we have two different minhagim. For the 6 o'clock service we gather in a space outside the area where the service is held for Kiddush and Motzi. The challah is divided before the service ends, and several of us will takes baskets to the entry doors along with trays of wine and juice so everyone has the opportunity to partake.

    For services in the main sanctuary at 7:30, Kiddush and Motzi are chanted from the Bimah with wine and challah available in the social hall along with other stuff for the Oneg.

    Saturday morning is Kiddush and Motzi in a space away from the place the service is held with wine/juice and challah available for all.

    Since we have at least three spaces where services might be held there are variants that really are based on convenient spaces not any ritual issues.

    1300 families

  15. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-3

    I have been to congregations that do Motzi as part of the service and those who do the Motzi just after the service before the Kiddush.

    Where I attend and sing now, we do the candle lighting at the beginning of the service except for a couple months in the summer when services start when it is quite light out, then we do the candle lighting prayer later on in the service. After the service we proceed to the Kiddush and say the Barucha and Motzi before the Kiddush. In other services I have been to or been a part of, the Barucha is sung as part of the service and/or the Motzi is also done at the end of the service before proceeding into the Kiddush.

    The way we do Motzi at the Kiddush, we then tear or cut off a piece of challah and start passing it around. I think where the Motzi is done in the sanctuary, only those on the bimah have a piece and the rest of the challah is put out at the Kiddush. Some places have pieces of challah

    already cut off and then a tray is passed around. Where the barucha is not in the sanctuary, we often have small cups of wine and juice to pass out so that they hold the wine while participating in the Barucha. Sometimes we have the wine on the table and members can get it after the blessing.

    Sometimes we have two “traditional” challahs, sometimes not. When we have pot luck suppers on Shabbat eves, then we often have two challahs at each table plus one on the “ceremonial” table. It depends on who is in setting up on the particular night.

    75 families

  16. Dec 2004 Digest #2004-12

    We make Kiddush and Motzi from the bimah at the conclusion of services. We distribute little cups of (red) wine and (blond) grape juice as services are concluding and make Kiddush.

    For Motzi, we use a custom we "imported" from [another congregation]. We have one or two challot at the bimah. Those close enough to touch them do so. Those further away touch someone, who's touching someone, who's touching someone (you get the idea) who's touching the challah. This human "chain" is a nice way for people to relate to each other. After the b’rachah, those actually touching the challah rip it apart and pass the pieces along to others. Within a remarkably short time, everyone has a piece of challah.

    350+ member units


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