Attending Services On Shabbat

How to Attend Services on Shabbat, Festivals and Holy Days.

By: Rabbi Aryel Nachman ben Chaim – Senior Rabbi HOSBS

It is always a concern of mine that people will break the Sabbath in order to join us in our broadcast services for Shabbat. That has weighed heavily on my mind for a long time. I have a number of options to address this:

  • I can stop broadcasting services on Shabbat. This is not a viable option for me since the whole intent of the synagogue was to make Shabbat, Festival and Holy Days accessible to Jews who are home-bound.
  • I can ignore how people are viewing the broadcasts and leave it to the individual’s conscience. This is not an attractive option either, as it leaves out those who wish to attend services, but not break Shabbat.
  • I can give people a guide on how to attend the services and remain as close to Shomer Shabbat as possible based on a persons michag or personal adherence. This is the most viable option I could come up with.

These instructions are for desktop and laptop computers. They probably will not work for tablets, and definitely will not work for phones.

To be able to attend services without worrying about using the computer on Shabbat, Festivals or Holy Days, requires a bit of set up, but I think you will find it worth the time and effort to ease your mind.

Of course, we do have very talented people among our members who know how to program the computer to automatically start, stop and open programs and sites. As we get the information, we will post it.

So, here are the simple instructions:

  1. Turn on your computer well before Shabbat and place it where you will be able to see it without having to move it during the Sabbath. Make sure it is in a place that has plenty of air space around it so the computer will not overheat and damage your computer.
  2. Adjust the volume to a comfortable level by going to You Tube and playing one of our previous services to get the volume at the right level for your listening.
  3. Here is where is gets a bit tricky and you may need some help doing this (any 12-year-old will be able to do this for you!): Go to your Settings and find the Power Setting (it may be right in the Settings, or it may be under your System settings). This is typically set to put the computer into sleep of hibernate mode after a certain period of time and blank the screen. Turn these setting off (set it to None or Never). You can reset this after Shabbat to the setting you had them at originally. Once that this is done, close out the Setting window.
  4. Now, open the browser that you use to go onto the internet. Open it and go to the link for one of the broadcasts which you will find on our website, on our Facebook group, or you will find in you weekly email if you sign up the notification on the website.
  5. Next, adjust the browser to cover only half of the screen (either the right half or the left half, it does not matter which side you choose). Open a new browser window (not a tab!). When the second browser window opens, set this one to cover the other half of the screen next to the first. Open the other broadcast in this browser window.
  6. Now you have two browser windows sitting side-by-side with a different broadcast on each (i.e. Kabbalat Shabbat on one and Shacharit and Musaf on the other).
  7. Make sure the AUTOPLAY on You Tube is turned off on both browsers (this will be in the top right-hand corner of the You Tube page). The AUTOPLAY button will be grey if it is off.
  8. Now you can adjust each browser window to have as little or as much as you want to see on the page.
  9. You are now all set. The broadcast will start and end automatically without any need to do anything or touch the computer. At the end of Shabbat, you can reset everything to their original setting for the week.

This will address Shabbat Services, Services where there will be more than two broadcasts will take a bit more work to set up three or more browser windows, but the principle is the same. The picture may be small, but being able to hear the broadcast in the important thing.

I hope this will help alleviate people’s concerns about being able to attend services and remain Shomer Shabbat.

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