Every year around this time I am asked when we will start saying Mincha, the afternoon prayer, as well as Ma’ariv, the evening prayer, during our daily minyan. The answer is that we will start doing so on Sunday, April 30.
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, April 30. Please take this into account when planning meetings or your own personal schedule if you are attending minyan on a particular evening.
If you have tried to join our Shabbat morning or Pesach Yizkor services over Zoom during the last couple of weeks, you know that we have continued to have problems getting the service to you consistently. For whatever reason, the wi-fi in the Sanctuary has been inconsistent and this is why the Zoom keeps dropping out. We are trying to fix the problem but have not yet been able to identify its source. We do know that this is a problem with the wi-fi and not with the OWL which serves as our camera nor with Zoom itself. Services, meetings, and classes which take place entirely on Zoom have not been affected. When the wi-fi in the Sanctuary goes down it generally has come back shortly thereafter so if you happen to be online and the service goes down, I would encourage you to wait a few minutes or check back later to see if it comes back up. Of course, assuming you live close enough to the synagogue and your health allows, coming in person is always going to provide you with a better experience.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian