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Rabbi's Update 2/15/2023


Dear Friends:


I will not be having my drop-in hours tomorrow afternoon. Yesterday it was discovered that my wife Keleigh has a fracture in her right foot. She is not allowed to drive and has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow afternoon to which I will need to drive her and for which I will need to accompany her. My Talmud class tomorrow will be held as scheduled. If you were planning to drop in tomorrow afternoon, I apologize, but please feel free to contact me via phone or email.


For those of you who have been following matters in Israel with some concern, there is some hopeful news coming out of Israel today. Opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz and Simcha Rothman, head of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee, met separately with President Isaac Herzog in a bid to jumpstart negotiations over the government’s planned “judicial reforms.” The proposed laws would reduce the independence of the judiciary and allow the Knesset by a simple majority the ability to override decisions of the Supreme Court. It should be noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prohibited from participating in any of these discussions or even speaking publicly about the judicial overhaul proposals since he is currently on trial for corruption and these bills could have an impact on his case. It remains to be seen where all of this will go but it should be noted that the heads of Israel’s major banks and many multinationals are calling on the government to back off these proposals; that former Likud MK Benny Begin, son and political heir of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin participated in the massive demonstration Monday at the Knesset against this legislation; and 75 major Israeli Orthodox leaders have also issued a call for dialogue and compromise.


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/j2mVMi6iQcwVoJGD6. 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 always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at rabbi@kehilatshalom.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.


L’shalom,




Rabbi Charles L. Arian


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