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Rabbi’s Update 4/17/2024


Dear Friends:


A few notes about the upcoming holidays and beyond:


MiSheberach List “reset”:


The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of Conservative Judaism (CJLS)  recently passed a responsum dealing with communal MiSheberach lists.


The list we read on Shabbat mornings has become extremely long to the point where it comes close to violating the halachic prohibition of tircha d'tzibura, over burdening the community. This problem is common in many synagogues because people call or email to add names to the list but often do not ask for names to be taken off the list when the person recovers or, God forbid, passes away.


The CJLS suggests "resetting" the list twice a year, at Pesach and Rosh Hashanah. If you have put a name on the list, please email or call Joan in the office (secretary@kehilatshalom.org) or 301-869-7699 before the end of April to renew the name.


Any names not renewed will be taken off the list as of Shabbat morning, May 4.



Including Mincha as well as Ma’ariv in Daily Minyan:


We will start saying Mincha as well as Ma’ariv in our daily minyan on Sunday, May 5. 


Our daily prayer schedule is time-related but not according to the hours on a clock, which are really arbitrary units of time. Our prayer schedule is tied to the daylight hours, which is why Shabbat can start as early as 4:27 in December and as late as 8:20 in June or July. Mincha must be completed before dark and since it takes us about 15 minutes to say Mincha, in practice this means that we should start including Mincha in our daily minyan the week when Shabbat candle lighting time is 7:45 or later. Since it’s logistically easier to begin including Mincha at the beginning of a week rather than the middle, we’ll start doing so on Sunday, May 5.. Please take this into account when planning meetings or your own personal schedule if you are attending minyan on a particular evening. You can assume that minyan will end at 8:15 instead of 8:00


Pesach Resources:


I want to provide you this morning with some links to resources that you might find helpful as you prepare for Pesach.


Exploring Judaism is a new website under the auspices of the Conservative Movement. Their Not A Haggadah supplement contains articles and readings that will help you prepare for Passover with new understandings:


The Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem has prepared a Haggadah supplement specifically for this year as we explore themes of brokenness, hunger, and the loss of people who should be at our Seder table:


Rabbi Jan Urbach of the Jewish Theological Seminary has prepared a guide to tough conversations across generational and political divides:


A very short but useful supplement from Israel educators Joel Chasnoff and Benji Lovitt:


Here is a link to the form you will need to fill out for me to sell your chametz:


And a link to our Pesach schedule:


And finally my guide to keeping Kosher for Passover:


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 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. 

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.


L’shalom,




Rabbi Charles L. Arian


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