Rock Shabbat combines Hebrew prayers, popular music

Congregation Kol Tikvah in Parkland will be ready to rock on Sept. 8.

That evening, Kol Tikvah (6750 North University Dr.) will host a Rock Shabbat service that includes rock melodies performed by the congregation’s band fused with liturgical prayers and songs.

The service begins at 6:30 p.m. but attendees can come early at 5:30 p.m. for a Shabbat tailgate dinner through the food trucks on property or by bringing their own dinner. Prospective synagogue members will have the opportunity to meet with the clergy, staff and other families of the congregation at this event which is also an open house for the whole community.

The congregation’s Rock Shabbat takes place monthly from September through June. Rabbi Bradd Boxman, the congregation’s spiritual leader, started these services almost a decade ago.

“I felt that I wanted to have a kind of a service that would be contemporary, that would have a very musical element to it, that would be received well by younger families and folks that have good memories of different rock melodies and that would give freedom for people to get out of their seats to sing and dance and to pray from more than just their mouths, but their whole bodies,” Boxman said.

Boxman continued, “Due to its nature, it’s not as formal as a regular service, and for some people, especially if they’re in mourning and they have to say some prayers for a loved one or maybe they’re not in that kind of a mood to have that kind of service, we offer an alternative service at 7:30 that’s led by the cantor.”

Boxman noted that the Rock Shabbat is “truly a Shabbat service.”

“We’re not skipping anything. We’re not throwing together a bunch of songs and calling it a service. We actually follow the structure of a Shabbat evening service and in between the different pieces of music, my role is to give a short two-minutes max inspirational lead-in to the song, so interspersed between the music is my role to kind of lift up this service with spiritual insights.”

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