Beth Tikvah Logo Beth Tikvah Congregation
300 Hillcrest Blvd Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

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Beth Tikvah Congregation

Our House of Hope

300 Hillcrest Blvd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169  

847-885-4545

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Selichot

Selichot, a Hebrew word meaning “forgiveness,” refers to the special penitential prayers recited by Jews during the High Holy Day season. The Selichot liturgy contains some of the finest Jewish religious poetry ever composed. Reform congregations usually observe Selichot on the Saturday night just prior to Rosh Hashanah - a solemn and fitting preparation for ten days of reflection and self-examination.

Selichot at BTC

Our evening of Selichot worship and study takes place at Beth Tikvah Congregation on the Saturday night immediately preceding the first night of Rosh Hashanah. Please view our Upcoming High Holiday Calendar (to the left) to determine when Selichot falls this year.

Selichot means “forgiveness” and this worship service - with its haunting music lead by our choir, and with penitential prayers - is intended to instill a mood of solemnity that serves as a prelude to the sacred themes of the Days of Awe. Each year our worship service is preceded by a short, engaging study session, as well as a dessert reception. The evening concludes with the blast of the shofar which urges participants to reflect upon their lives and to change for the better. Our Selichot Services and study sessions are open to all and we hope you will consider joining us for this moving and inspirational night of prayer, introspection and study.

Learn more about Selichot.


Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah literally means “Head of the Year,” and refers to the celebration of a new Jewish year. This holiday, on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, and provides an opportunity for each of us to examine our actions from the preceding year through prayer. Rosh Hashanah is a joyous and meaningful holiday celebrated by special customs, such as gathering together as a sacred community, sounding the shofar, and eating apples and honey and round challah.

Learn more about Rosh Hashanah


Tashlich

After the conclusion of services on the First Day of Rosh Hashanah, our congregation participates in a ritual called Tashlich. Tashlich means “to cast or throw.” It is a tradition on Rosh Hashanah to go to a river or a stream to symbolically cast our sins into the water. The key passage in this ceremony, which sometimes involves throwing pocket lint or bread crumbs into the water, is from Micah 7:19: “God will have compassion upon us: God will subdue our iniquities and you will cast (tashlich) all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Metaphorically, as the eyes of fish never close, so God always watches for our sins to be cast away. The service and songs are appropriate for members of all ages.


Shabbat Shuvah

Shabbat Shuvah - the "Shabbat of Returning" - falls each year between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. It's placement in our season allows us to focus on repentance, mindfulness, and renewal in a quiet way. At Beth Tikvah we create a warm atmosphere of calm and intimacy at this service; like a small - but nonetheless precious - jewel placed in the crown of the royal pair of High Holidays on either side. The start time and format for this service will align with our regular Shabbat worship calendar.


Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur means "Day of Atonement" and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer and repentance. Part of the High Holidays, which also includes Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day in the Jewish year. In three separate passages in the Torah, the Jewish people are told, "the tenth day of the seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: You shall practice self-denial" (Leviticus 23:27). Fasting is seen as fulfilling this biblical commandment. The Yom Kippur fast also enables us to put aside our physical desires to concentrate on our spiritual needs through prayer, repentance and self-improvement.

Yom Kippur is the moment in Jewish time when we dedicate our mind, body, and soul to reconciliation with God, our fellow human beings, and ourselves. We are commanded to turn to those whom we have wronged first, acknowledging our sins and the pain we might have caused. At the same time, we must be willing to forgive and to let go of certain offenses and the feelings of resentment they provoked in us. On this journey we are both seekers and givers of pardon. Only then can we turn to God and ask for forgiveness: “And for all these, God of forgiveness, forgive us, pardon us, and grant us atonement.”

Learn more about Yom Kippur


High Holy Day Learning Resource

Comprehensive, easy-to-understand Guide to the High Holidays Days from Interfaithfamily.com

Worship

Worship is very important to us at Beth Tikvah Congregation. We believe that - through prayer on the Sabbath, on Jewish Holidays, and as a part of our everyday lives - we can improve ourselves, our relationships with each other, and with God. Through prayer we give voice to the longings in our hearts. We find comfort, inspiration, meaning, guidance and hope through prayer, and we reconnect with our most sacred values and ideals.

Our prayer book, Mishkan T’filah, asserts that “each of us enters this sanctuary with a different need,” and at BTC we strive to create worship that is engaging, accessible and relevant. Attending or viewing online one of our services, you will immediately notice that our services include joyous, uplifting music, inspirational sermons, celebrations of life cycle events, time for reflection and meditation, as well as shared laughter. Following each worship service, the congregation typically gathers together to enjoy delicious desserts and refreshments each other’s company.

We are always delighted to have guests and long-time members worship with us and we want you to feel comfortable, included, and attuned to what is happening at any given moment. More information about attending our worship services for the first time can be found here.

Our prayer services include both Hebrew and English in the form of prayers, readings and songs, and most everything that appears in Hebrew is both translated and transliterated in the prayer book. While there is much to be said about our prayer services, the best way to find out more is to experience our worship. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming worship services. We most frequently gather together for prayer on Friday evenings when we usher in the Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat); a 24-hour period of rest, reflection, renewal and reconnection to God.

Please refer to the list of our Shabbat Services offered, or view our congregational Calendar. Also, if you are unable to attend in-person, you can join us weekly in prayer online through our live streaming.