I wanted to call your attention to the fact that evening minyan on Sunday will be at 6:30 rather than 7:45 in anticipation that many of you will be watching the Super Bowl at 7:45. I apologize that we neglected to note this schedule change earlier.
You may recall that a few weeks ago I wrote about Damar Hamlin’s injury and my own aversion to watching football because of its violence and the risk of injury to its players. That message was picked up and reprinted in the Washington Jewish Week and you can read it here if you wish. A couple of days ago Rabbi Jeffrey Fox published an article exploring the question of whether or not it permissible according to halacha to watch football. Essentially he says that while he cannot state that it is absolutely forbidden, the weight of rabbinic values leans heavily against it. Rabbi Fox is the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Maharat, the first yeshiva created to provide Orthodox rabbinic ordination to women. He is addressing a community that is very different from ours in many ways but is no less fully immersed in American general culture than we are. I recommend his article although it may be a bit technical for some.
On Wednesday I wrote about the destruction and death caused by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. I gave you some places where your tzedakah could be directed and I will repeat that list at the end of this message. I wanted to share with you an article from the New York Times about what was lost in the city of Antakya. Because place names change over time I did not realize until reading the article that Antakya is the ancient city of Antioch. The link I provided is a “gift link” so you will be able to read the article even if you are not a Times subscriber.
Here is a non-exhaustive lists of ways to help:
Maryland Turkish-American Inhabitants Fundraiser:
Doctors Without Borders:
Israaid (an Israeli NGO on the ground in Turkey and Syria:
World Central Kitchen (our area local hero Jose Andres):
Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Earthquake Relief Fund:
We are once again having a sponsored Kiddush after services this Shabbat. If you are planning to attend, it is really helpful for you to register at https://forms.gle/RzT1NabfNWrZxKXP6. If you have not registered and decide at the last minute to attend, you will of course still be joyfully welcomed. However, advance registration helps us to determine how much food to prepare for Kiddush without being wasteful. Your assistance is appreciated -- from weekly experience I can tell you that filling out the registration form literally takes less than 30 seconds.
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