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Rabbi's Update 6/3/2022

Dear Friends:

Plans for Shavuot

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, sponsored by Gail Lieberman in honor of the anniversary of her Bat Mitzvah, weather permitting. Services both mornings will be led by Hazzan Komrad and me.

If you are planning on attending in person that morning, please sign up here. We are having a kiddush outdoors (weather permitting) and we want to make sure that we have enough food without being wasteful, so your cooperation in signing up in advance is very much appreciated.

Last Night’s “Contemporary Jewish Controversies” Class:

As I’ve written before, a federal or state ban on abortion that does not provide an exception for the mental health of the mother could mean that pregant Jews could be forbidden from having an abortion that Jewish law would not only allow but require them to have. What happens when Jewish law and secular law are in conflict?

Last night we looked at some Supreme Court precedents which might address this question as well as halachic responses to the same question. It was an interesting discussion and I invite you to view the recording of the class if you were unable to attend:

Mahloket Matters Fellowship:

“Mahloket” is a Hebrew word meaning disagreement and in Judaism, disagreement can often be seen as a good thing since it helps us to clarify issues and understand what God and the moment are calling on us to do.

I am honored to have been selected as one of 11 Conservative rabbis to participate in the Mahloket Matters Fellowship conducted by the Jerusalem-based Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution. During the course of this fellowship I will study texts and a methodology that helps us to disagree honestly but respectfully and work together despite our differing perspectives.

The Fellowship also carries with it a small stipend for programming using the methodology which I will be taught -- it can be used for publicity, materials, and even refreshments to be served during a program. As the Fellowship proceeds and we begin planning programming, I will be in touch with you for suggestions as to how to use these funds.

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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