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Rabbi’s Update 3/8/2024

Dear Friends:

Last night between minyan and the State of the Union Address our Adult Education class learned and discussed some interesting features of the Shema. Did you know that the Shema is a haiku? Do you know why the letter ayin in the word “Shema” and the letter dalet in the word “echad” are printed larger than the other letters? Do you know why we add the three words “El Melech Ne’eman” before the Shema if there is no minyan present? Last night’s class addressed these questions and more; you can watch the video of the class here.

On Wednesday morning at the request of the Jewish Community Relations Council I shared information about both a letter to the Montgomery County Education Association and a rally Wednesday afternoon at the MCEA headquarters protesting a proposed resolution from the MCEA concerning a ceasefire in Gaza. In the end, the resolution did not pass and was not even voted on since it was determined not to be in order (presumably because the MCEA does not have a mandate from its members to address foreign affairs.) A write up of what happened and video of the dueling demonstrations outside the meeting can be found here courtesy of Montgomery Perspective. 

Please support the “Magical Musical Concert” next Sunday at 4 pm at the synagogue. Many many of our congregants have been working extremely hard to make this concert possible and to make it a successful fundraiser for our kehila. If you have not already bought tickets or better yet a sponsorship package, please do so as soon as you can. More info can be found here.

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 or another member of our Jewish community who could use a phone call, please let me know.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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