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March 13 Kabbalat Shabbat

Welcome to the Sherith Israel Streaming page.

Friday night services can be viewed here. You can start services any time until Monday morning.


Need a Siddur (Prayerbook)? Follow along in the  CCAR PDF version.

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In addition, Rabbi Graf has compiled resources in place of this week's Torah Study. We will be bringing you Torah study by video conference starting next shabbat.


A message from Rabbi Jessica Graf:

This week, we read Parshat Ki Tisa.  It is famously the story of the Golden Calf. The Golden Calf has remained a popular symbol in our society—representing idolatry or worship of a false god.  In our increasingly materialistic world, there are many idols that we admire and even worship—money, cars etc. We learn from this Torah portion of the danger in allowing those idols to replace our true values.  Our ancestors’ misdirected worship of the Golden Calf led the whole community astray. What can we learn from their mistakes?


Today, we find ourselves in uncharted territory.  We prepare to observe Shabbat together, but from home.  Our anxiety in this time of uncertainty can feel overwhelming.  Where are we headed? When will this end? Will we be ok? This time requires that we refocus on our true values—the values of community, kindness and respect for life.  We take extra care of ourselves by trying to stay healthy; we take extra care of each other by reaching out by phone to make sure our neighbors are not isolated. Unlike our ancestors in this week’s Torah portion, let us remember the importance of maintaining faith and hope in challenging times.  I wish we could be together for Shabbat services and study, but for now, the Jewish value of pikuach nefesh—saving lives—guides us, as does the instruction from the Talmud, kol yisrael aravim ze ba ze—we must all be responsible for each other.  


Next week, we will have the opportunity to study Torah together remotely on Shabbat morning, as well as to listen to our Kabbalat Shabbat service.  For this week, I hope you’ll have a chance to read the Torah portion at home—in a book or online. It’s a great one! I’m including a few links here-- resources that you may find interesting.  They’re related to the Torah portion—either directly, or indirectly, as we decide how our community can respond to the challenges we face.  


  1. A dvar Torah written by our very own Daniel Handler for the organization Truah. (Ironically, Truah’s weekly divrei Torah were underwritten by the Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah—the family foundation of the inventors of Purell!). Read on.
  2. This drash on the Torah portion is from one of Drisha Institute’s scholars, Rabba Wendy Amsellem. Watch Here.
  3. Even in difficult times, our community sustains us.  Read this amazing story of songs filling the deserted streets of the Italian city of Siena.


Shabbat shalom!

Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf

Mon, August 10 2020 20 Av 5780