Shabbat Service is conducted at
7:00 pm on the
First and Third Friday of each month.

Services and Events

Hanukkah

December 22-30

 

   In the second century BCE, the Holy Land was ruled by the Seleucids (Syrian-Greeks), who tried to force the people of Israel to accept Greek culture and beliefs instead of mitzvah observance and belief in G‑d.

   Against all odds, a small band of faithful but poorly armed Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to the service of G‑d.

   When they sought to light the Temple's Menorah (the seven-branched candelabrum), they found only a single cruse of olive oil that had escaped contamination by the Greeks. Miraculously, they lit the menorah and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be prepared under conditions of ritual purity.

   At the heart of the festival is the nightly menorah lighting. The menorah holds nine flames, one of which is the shamash (“attendant”), which is used to kindle the other eight lights. On the first night, we light just one flame. On the second night, an additional flame is lit. By the eighth night of Chanukah, all eight lights are kindled.

   Special blessings are recited, often to a traditional melody, before the menorah is lit, and traditional songs are sung afterward.

   A menorah is lit in every household (or even by each individual within the household) and placed in a doorway or window. The menorah is also lit in synagogues and other public places. In recent years, thousands of jumbo menorahs have cropped up in front of city halls and legislative buildings, and in malls and parks all over the world.

   We recite the special Hallel prayer daily, and add V’Al HaNissim in our daily prayers and in the Grace After Meals, to offer praise and thanksgiving to G‑d for “delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few ... the wicked into the hands of the righteous.”

Words of Welcome

Temple Beth Am, “Temple of the People” welcomes you. Our kehillah kedosha, or sacred community, represents the rich diversity of the Jewish faith. Many of us are from Conservative and Reform backgrounds. We are also blessed by those who have chosen Judaism as their spiritual path as well as by those who are discovering and rediscovering their Jewish souls.

 

Temple Beth Am, an unaffiliated Jewish congregation, has served the Hemet/San Jacinto area since 1958.  We are dedicated to maintaining the Jewish faith, providing a center for Jewish life, and interacting with our neighbors through community outreach.

 

Our services are congregation-based. We encourage and welcome everyone's participation. Prayer services occur on the first and third Friday of each month. We celebrate the major Jewish holidays.

 

As part of our community outreach program, we offer Hebrew classes and Jewish education classes on an ongoing basis.

 

Temple Beth Am is a place where our Jewish spirits connect in meaningful ways. The kavanah, or the intention that brings us together for worship, unites us as a synagogue of “the people.”

 

Shalom,

Board of Directors

                Friday, November 15 - 7pm

                     TORAH READING

                     Parshat Vayera

                     Genesis 18:1–22:24


   G‑d reveals Himself to Abraham three days after the first Jew’s circumcision at age ninety-nine; but Abraham rushes off to prepare a meal for three guests who appear in the desert heat.

   One of the three—who are angels disguised as men—announces that, in exactly one year, the barren Sarah will give birth to a son. Sarah laughs.

   Abraham pleads with G‑d to spare the wicked city of Sodom. Two of the three disguised angels arrive in the doomed city, where Abraham’s nephew Lot extends his hospitality to them and protects them from the evil intentions of a Sodomite mob.

   The two guests reveal that they have come to overturn the place, and to save Lot and his family. Lot’s wife turns into a pillar of salt when she disobeys the command not to look back at the burning city as they flee.

   While taking shelter in a cave, Lot’s two daughters (believing that they and their father are the only ones left alive in the world) get their father drunk, lie with him and become pregnant. The two sons born from this incident father the nations of Moab and Ammon.

Abraham moves to Gerar, where the Philistine king Abimelech takes Sarah—who is presented as Abraham’s sister—to his palace. In a dream, G‑d warns Abimelech that he will die unless he returns the woman to her husband. Abraham explains that he feared he would be killed over the beautiful Sarah.

   G‑d remembers His promise to Sarah, and gives her and Abraham a son, who is named Isaac (Yitzchak, meaning “will laugh”). Isaac is circumcised at the age of eight days; Abraham is one hundred years old, and Sarah ninety, at their child’s birth.

   Hagar and Ishmael are banished from Abraham’s home and wander in the desert; G‑d hears the cry of the dying lad, and saves his life by showing his mother a well. Abimelech makes a treaty with Abraham at Beersheba, where Abraham gives him seven sheep as a sign of their truce.

   G‑d tests Abraham’s devotion by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. Isaac is bound and placed on the altar, and Abraham raises the knife to slaughter his son. A voice from heaven calls to stop him; a ram, caught in the undergrowth by its horns, is offered in Isaac’s place.

   Abraham receives the news of the birth of a daughter, Rebecca, to his nephew Bethuel.

 

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​                       Oneg follows regular

                             Friday services

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