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Rabbi's Update 10/29/2021

Dear Friends:

Yesterday was the first day since August that there has been no indoor mask mandate imposed by Montgomery County. Yesterday morning I went grocery shopping at Moti’s Market in Rockville and I was pleased to note that as far as I could tell, everyone in the store -- employees and customers alike -- was still wearing a mask. Anticipating that I might encounter maskless people, I had actually upgraded from a surgical mask to an N95 which provides a much higher level of protection, and I’ll probably still use one if I go into a store, at least for a while. But the level of masking at Moti’s was very reassuring, especially given that they serve a mostly-Orthodox clientele and that around the country some Orthodox communities have been resistant to mask mandates as well as vaccines.

Last night our “Contemporary Jewish Controversies” class explored the implications of Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop doing business in the West Bank. Marc Sosin, our congregant who with his wife Bonnie has owned a Ben & Jerry’s franchise since 1988, kicked off the discussion with remarks which were enlightening and informative. If you weren’t able to attend live but want to watch the discussion, it’s available at this link.

Although the mask mandate has been lifted, our mask requirement in shul will continue until at least November 13. This coming Shabbat morning our service is Zoom-only so the question of masks is irrelevant. The following Shabbat, November 6, Jacob Sheib, son of Amy and Michael Sheib, will be called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah. Jacob and his family will be joined by many of his classmates from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS). Because CESJDS has its own mask mandate which is stricter than County regulations, masks will be required for all in attendance on November 6 even though the County mask mandate has been lifted. Please make a note of this and prepare accordingly. (Please also note that for those who plan to attend via Zoom, a different Zoom link will be used that morning which will be published in next week’s announcements and updates.)


As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. Although I am working primarily from home, I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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