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Rabbi’s Update 2/9/2024

Dear Friends:

Last night our Adult Education class looked at three Talmudic texts which I had selected because I believe they give some worthwhile insights as to how a Jewish leader should lead. It was an interesting and fun discussion. If you want to see the video of the class, it is available here; the texts we studied can be found here.

A few weeks ago I dedicated the Thursday night Adult Education slot to an open discussion on the situation in Israel. I know that many of our congregants find the current situation in Israel disorienting and have no one with whom they feel they can safely share their thoughts and concerns. As the situation continues to change and develop, I think it is time for another such discussion. While the discussion will take place over Zoom, I will not record it for later posting on YouTube as I do with my classes. If there is something you want to say or a concern you want to share, next Thursday night after minyan is the time to do so.

Today is my 64th birthday and when asked by the people closest to me what I wanted for my birthday, I could really think of nothing other than that the 100 or so Israelis still held hostage by Hamas be released -- and that the suffering of innocents on all sides be brought to an end. Unfortunately no one could give me my birthday wish but Keleigh did get me the “dog tag” that many Israelis are wearing since Oct. 7th. In Hebrew it says “our heart is held captive in Gaza” and in English “Bring Them Home Now.” Ken yihi ratzon-- may this be God’s will.

As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoons 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 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. 

Additionally, if you know of a Kehilat Shalom congregant who could use a phone call, please let me know.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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