As new coronavirus cases in our area continue to decline and the indoor mask mandate expires later today, it’s time for us to once again move towards hybrid services on Shabbat morning.
After the hostage taking a few weeks ago at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, we have updated our security protocols in general and particularly for Shabbat morning. We’ll have Zoom-only services this coming Shabbat to give us some more time to finalize and implement our new Shabbat security protocols and will begin having hybrid services again on Saturday morning, March 5. I’m also happy to let you know that Hazzan Komrad is planning on joining us in person on those Shabbatot that she is scheduled to daven, starting in mid-March.
I wrote to you this past Friday morning that in our “Contemporary Jewish Controversies” class this week we will be looking at the future of online and in-person worship in the United States. I want to make it clear, because I’ve had some questions, that this is a theoretical and academic exploration of the question. Everyone knows what is going on in their own congregation but there are national trends that extend beyond Kehilat Shalom and beyond the Jewish community. Rabbis and cantors share with each other and discuss the trends going on nationwide, and there is a tremendous body of literature as well. While the locus of decision making is the Ritual Committee and the synagogue board, intelligent decision making means being aware of what is going on throughout the country in both the Jewish and general communities.
On another note, I have received some requests to post the d’var Torah that I gave this past Shabbat morning. I’m gratified that congregants have asked me to do this but I speak from notes, not a fully prepared text, so it will take me a while to work those notes into a form that can be shared with you. Unless something pressing preempts it, I plan to share it with you this coming Wednesday morning.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at email@example.com 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.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian