Written By: Michaela Symons (Keshet)
Voices in perfect harmony, seated in a close-knit circle, melodic sounds of several guitars, an inspirational quote on every seat and songs that create shivers down your spine; this could only be a Netzer Shabbat Service.
A Netzer Shabbat is a magical thing. The beautiful songs with tunes unique to our youth movement are sung by all and there is such a huge sense of community and family when at one of the services. Praying together connects people and that is definitely true of a Netzer service, it connects the young and old in our community and provides a space for the younger generations to take part in Shabbat services with equal importance to the older generations.
Every New Year is the chance to introduce something new and exciting. This year introduced Netzer’s future madrichim at a Netzer style Shabbat service at Temple Israel Green Point in January. Past, present and future maddies came together to lead the shul in an evening of music, song and prayer. It was amazing to see everyone: Netzerniks, regular shul goers and those who have recently joined the shul all sitting together in an intimate circle (which turned into a spiral as more and more people arrived) singing the normal shul tunes, some Netzer favourites and even some brand new ones. It is not only the prayers that are sung differently, it is also our approach to prayer that is different. There is a freedom to express your Judaism that is experienced no-where else, things like sitting or standing for the Shema is a personal choice. We have created a prayer space where everyone has the opportunity to feel comfortable with their beliefs. We ended off our service with Od Yavo Shalom, the entire congregation sang loudly and with such enthusiasm. It was a powerful ending to a beautiful Shabbat service.
There are many fabulous things about Netzer but there is one thing that really stands out for many and that is our Shabbat service. The vibe created at a service is indescribable, there are no adjectives which clearly illustrate how important and special a Netzer Shabbat service is. Even those who do not pray or go to shul often feel united, connected and inspired when at a Netzer service. Here is the hope of uniting, connecting and inspiring youth one prayer service at a time.