Ritual Life

Ritual life at Sha’ar Zahav is proudly and joyously co-created and co-led by professional clergy and lay leaders. Our liturgy and services reflect our modern understanding of the world and affirm the sacred in each and every one of us. We begin each service by singing and linking arms with the people  next to us, reminding us that whether we are long-time members of Sha’ar Zahav or this is our first time in a Jewish setting, we are all welcome.

The following reading, from the first pages of Siddur Sha’ar Zahav (our self-published prayerbook), reflects what we feel is possible through our prayer and ritual:

In Shul

it’s in this particular room
(o, we know it’s all rooms)
but right now
it’s in this particular room
with these stained glass windows
that reveal our history
these recycled church pews
hard and uncomfortable
this scratched wood floor
on which we’ve stood danced walked
and the rafters above
which make this room safe
like the inside of Noah’s ark
rafters curved to remind us of Your promise
bowed in the sky in as many hues
as are we

it’s in this particular room
with these very particular people
praying together
that (sometimes)
we manage to pry open roof to the sky
and (occasionally)
pry open the rafters that encase our hearts
so that we can feel
Your great
warm and unending love
flowing in
now and forever
and (yes, we know)
to all rooms
in Your dancing swirling cosmos.


Recent blog posts

What’s Happening at Sha’ar Zahav

Learn to Read High Holy Day Prayers in Hebrew One hour evening class (4) sessions Tuesdays, August 30th through September 20, 7-8pm Welcome in Elul with a mini course of Hebrew and get prepared for High Holy Days! Have you sat in High Holy Day services wishing you had a bit more comfort with the…

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Hybrid Services – In-person and on Zoom 02/2022

  An Update on In-Person Events and Services Dear Sha’ar Zahav Community, We hope that you are healthy and well. We would like to update you on Sha’ar Zahav’s plans regarding meeting in person at 290 Dolores. Our Reopening Task Force met again on Thursday, February 10 and had a spirited conversation about returning to…

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Wingsong: for all the friends who died of AIDS

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