Rabbi's Update 3/16/2022
We will be observing Purim tonight at 7 pm on Zoom. This is, of course, instead of the normal 7:45 pm minyan.
The Sisterhood still has some hamantashen for sale. They are available at the synagogue today during regular office hours and are $5 for a bag of 3 hamantashen of mixed flavors.
As has been our practice for the last several years, the Megillah (Book of Esther) will be chanted partly in Hebrew and partly in English. Our Hazzan Kim Komrad is an expert in chanting the Megillah in English using the traditional trope (cantillation) and if you have not heard her do so, you should take advantage of this opportunity.
We will be using a new translation and printing of the Megillah. It will be screen-shared during the service but you can also download it in advance here. The service itself is a regular weekday evening service but if for some reason you do not already have a prayer book that contains the weekday evening service you can download the evening service here.
We will be having our costume contest as we do every year. In addition, we will have one for the best Zoom background. There will be prizes of $25 Amazon Gift Cards in the following categories:
* best kid’s costume (high school and younger)
* best adult’s costume
* best Zoom background
As you know, it is traditional to “blot out” Haman’s name by making noise when it is mentioned during the Megillah reading. Because food insecurity continues in our community as well as the fact that providing food to the poor is one of the mitzvot of Purim, you are encouraged to use a box of pasta or of mac and cheese as a “gragger” and then bring it to the synagogue and deposit it in the Manna Food Bank collection box in the synagogue lobby.
A number of Jewish organizations around the country are reminding us to avoid offensive or racist costumes this Purim. Please be sensitive and do not use blackface or costumes that make fun of any other group of people.
We continue to be deeply concerned about the welfare of the Ukrainian people under attack from Russia and those who have fled the country. Our own Masorti (Conservative) movement has been active in Ukraine for decades with what was until recently a thriving network of congregations, schools, and camps. If you want to assist the worldwide Masorti effort in Ukraine and neighboring countries please give at this link.
As a reminder, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has established a Ukraine Emergency Fund to meet emergency humanitarian needs. You can find out more and donate here.
If you are interested in last week’s class discussion on “The Role of Jewish Studies: Education or Advocacy?” the video of the class can be found here. The “Chronicle of Higher Education” just published an in-depth exploration of one of the cases we discussed in this class, which can be found here.
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