Word came earlier this week that Rep. Jamie Raskin was diagnosed with diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Rep. Raskin said that this is a serious but treatable form of cancer and he will be treated on an outpatient basis for the next four months at Georgetown’s Lombardi Cancer Center. He noted that the chemotherapy often causes weight gain and hair loss but that he was “holding out hope for the kind that causes hair gain and weight loss.”
After the reshuffling of Congressional districts following the 2020 Census, more Kehilat Shalom congregants than before are now represented by Rep. Raskin. One of the dividing lines between Raskin’s 8th District and David Trone’s 6th District is now Apple Ridge Rd., so Keleigh and I are now in Raskin’s district although the synagogue building itself remains in Trone’s district. I’ve actually known Jamie Raskin since 1991, when I was in my first year as Hillel Director at American University and he was in his first year as a professor at AU’s Washington College of Law.We wish Rep. Raskin a refuah sheleimah and we wish him, his wife Sarah, and his two daughters well as they deal with this latest challenge. As you know, the Raskin’s son Tommy died of suicide two years ago tomorrow. May they know no more sorrow.
Tomorrow night our Zoom Havdalah service will be at 5:45 rather than 7 pm due to New Year’s Eve, to accommodate those who might have New Year’s Eve celebration plans.
For the next several Shabbat mornings we will be having kiddush after services. They will not necessarily be elaborate but they will be an opportunity for us to spend some more time together informally rather than rushing home as soon as services end. Especially on days when we do have Kiddush, it’s important that you sign up to attend via our registration form -- it helps us know how much food to have without being wasteful.
As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul. You do not need to make an appointment -- that would negate the whole point of drop-in hours -- but I’d urge you to check and make sure I am there regardless as sometimes there are unavoidable pastoral or other emergencies which might take me away from the building.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment. I have been spending more time in the synagogue recently but if you want to speak with me it’s best to make an appointment rather than assuming I will be there when you stop by.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian