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Rabbi's Update 5/27/2022

Dear Friends:

You may know that there was a shtetl in Eastern Europe known as Chelm which was populated primarily by fools.

On the road into Chelm, just outside the town, there was a dangerous curve. Drivers, wagons, and horses would fairly frequently misjudge the turn and tumble over a cliff into the ravine below. It was an intolerable situation and something needed to be done.

The elders of Chelm debated for months and years about what to do and finally they hit on a solution. They would build a hospital in the ravine at the place where horses, wagons, and people kept tumbling over the cliff. That way, when the accidents happened, the victims could be treated right away.

Somehow I was reminded of this story by the various suggestions to arm teachers in the wake of the Uvalde massacre. Since we lack the will to really solve the problem, we will continue to come up with fanciful and absurd solutions to at least create the illusion that we are trying to do something. Welcome to the United States of Chelm.

I want to thank everyone who reached out to wish me well as I underwent a procedure yesterday to remove a cyst on my face under my left eye. The procedure was successful and I am feeling OK although I look like I took a good solid punch to the left side of my face. I look forward to seeing you in person or on Zoom over Shabbat.

Plans for Sukkot:

We will be joining the Conservative Movement’s third online Tikkun Leil Shavuot beginning Saturday night, June 4, at 9:30 pm. There will be no Havdalah and Schmooze that evening. The Tikkun can be accessed at


Services Sunday morning for the first day of Shavuot on Sunday June 5 will be on Zoom only beginning at 9:30. Afternoon services for the first day and evening services for the second day will be on Zoom at 7:45.

Services for the second day of Shavuot, Monday June 6, include Yizkor and will be held in person and on Zoom at 9:30. They will be followed by an outdoor kiddush, weather permitting. Services both mornings will be led by Hazzan Komrad and me.

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. Although I am working primarily from home, 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.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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