Before visiting Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, study its rich and fascinating history.

While many prayers and blessings are recited in synagogue, there is a beautiful custom whereby parents bless their children at home on Shabbat. To appreciate the significance of invoking the name of Ephraim and Menashe when parents bless their sons and grandsons on Friday evening before the Shabbat meal, read this enlightening thought entitled: “Jacob Blesses His Grandchildren” from Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald’s Torah message on this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi. Out of respect for the Sabbath, please print it out on Friday afternoon if you plan to read it on Shabbat.