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Report from Israel

Shalom again from a grieving, mourning, resilient, determined and warring Israel.  This evening at 7:45pm, I’ll be sharing with you via Zoom how my trip is going. 

Meanwhile, please watch this short clip and visit One Lev's website, where you can support their efforts on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Israel. 

There are many worthwhile places to donate much needed funds to meet the many needs facing Israel, the IDF, and Israelis in crisis. For example:

Back in San Francisco - Times Are A Changing…..

As you know, this coming Sunday morning at 2:00am, America will be switching from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time. What you might not realize is that the time change impacts our Shabbat morning schedule. Until this week we were able to begin services at 9:30am. However, for the next month we must begin at 9:15am.

Let me explain. When the daily morning service was instituted (just a few thousand years ago), it came with a sunup-based timeline. This means that the morning Shema and Amidah need to be completed within several “halachic hours” from sunup. 

A halachic hour is determined by dividing the total amount of daylight by twelve. Therefore, in the winter a halachic hour could be as short as 48 minutes and, in the summer, it could be as long as 74 minutes. -

Next Shabbat 11/11, sunup is at 6:46am and sundown is at 5:00pm, which means there will be 10 hours, and 14 minutes of daylight. By converting that into minutes (10x60+14=614 minutes) and then dividing by 12 you get a 0:51.16 - halachic hour. According to this calculation, the Shema which needs to be recited before the end of the third halachic hour of the day should be finished by 9:19am. The Amidah which needs to be said by the end of the fourth halachic hour should be finished by 10:10am.

Optimally, a synagogues’ service times should be in sync with the halachic hour system and allow for the Amidah to be recited right after the Shema. Here in San Francisco, that would require starting Shacharit on Shabbat at 8:30am. However, there is a long-standing custom in many Shuls for people to recite the Shema (in its proper time framework) independently before the beginning of the service. Though this custom is not optimal - it works. Adath Israel has historically followed this custom, and therefore to at least recite the Amidah within its proper time framework the Shabbat morning service will begin at 9:15am from 11/11-12/9.