Temple Emanuel – Grand Rapids

Contact us (616) 459-5976 


Frequently Asked Questions

What do I wear to Temple Emanuel?
As far as attire, dress as you wish or pretend you’re going on a date! Some people choose to come in sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts, while others like to wear suits and jewelry. The clergy generally dress “fancy casual” on a Friday night, but will wear a suit and tie during a B’nei Mitzvah, wedding, or funeral.

Words and Phrases You’ll Hear While at Temple Emanuel 

Aron Chodesh – This is our Ark for a Torah (the most sacred book in the Jewish faith). 

Bima – Literally, this word means “stage.” This is the raised “stage” from where the Rabbi, Cantor, and musicians lead our Shabbat services.

Challah – A traditional Jewish bread we eat after our Shabbat service. Challah is unique in that is enriched with egg.

Kippah – Also known in Yiddish as a yarmulke, this is a head covering that some people like to wear during worship. We have many in our sanctuary if you’d like to wear one. And yes, even those of other faith traditions are welcome to wear one.

Mazel Tov! – Congratulations!

Ner Tamid – The Eternal Flame. This is a lamp that is “eternally” lit over our Aron Chodesh. It symbolizes God’s eternal presence in our lives and is therefore never extinguished.

Oneg Shabbat – Immediately after the service, this is the time when people chat and catch-up over some light fare (usually challah, wine, and some sweets).

Shabbat Shalom – This is a greeting we say on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. It means, “Have a peaceful Shabbat.”

Shalom – This is a greeting. It means “Hello!” “Goodbye!” “Peace!”
Siddur – This is our prayerbook.

Tallit – Also known in Yiddish as a tallis, this ritual object is worn during morning worship services by Jewish people who have become a B’nei Mitzvah.

Torah – This is a sacred object, a scroll written in Hebrew, and the core of our faith. The Torah is known as the Five Books of Moses: B’reshit (Genesis), Sh’mot (Exodus), Vayikra (Leviticus), B’midbar (Numbers), and D’varim (Deuteronomy).