Almost every week I am asked questions that, while I answer them on the spot, could be asked by many of you. In this section, I will try to provide the answers so that everyone can benefit.

Congregant A asks:

How can I ensure that I receive an honour on Shabbat when I have Yahrzeit for a loved one either on Shabbat or during the week following?

The Gabbai answers:

The easiest way is to contact the Gabbaim at gabbaim@kehillatbethisrael.com when you receive your Yahrzeit notice* and let us know that you plan to attend shul on the Shabbat prior to your Yahrzeit observance date. You should do this immediately even though the notice arrives well before the actual date. By doing so we will be able to immediately reserve an honour for you on that Shabbat and confirm it to you by return email. We will also let you know what time you should arrive in order to ensure that you receive your honour. Our services run on a fairly tight timetable and unfortunately, we cannot stop and wait for someone who does not arrive on time.

In the event that you were not sure you could attend and become able to at the last moment, please try to arrive early (no later than 9:30am) and let the Honours Gabbai or the Gabbai Rishon know that you would like an honour in observance of your Yahrzeit. If there are any honours that have not been already assigned, we will be pleased to offer you one of them.

Congregant B asks:

If I don’t have a Yahrzeit but have recently returned from an extended trip, or recovered from a serious illness. What is my priority for receiving an Aliyyah?

The Gabbai answers;

While there is no absolute priority for you to receive an Aliyyah, we would offer you one as long as all yahrzeit requests are satisfied. You will also be offered the opportunity to recite the Birkat haGomel, a special blessing that is recited immediately following your Torah Aliyyah.

If anyone has questions regarding the awarding of honours or the choreography of services, please email your concerns to gabbaim@kehillatbethisrael.com and I will answer you either by return email or in this column.

Respectfully Submitted:

Norm Ferkin

*Yahrzeit notices are only sent to full members.