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Rabbi’s Update 6/7/2024

Dear Friends:

Shavuot, which begins this coming Tuesday evening,  is unique in that it is the only Jewish holiday which cannot be started early. The reasoning behind this is that Leviticus 23, which contains the commandments both for counting the Omer and observing Shavuot, defines the period of counting as “seven complete weeks.” Starting Shavuot early means that the Omer period is not complete.This creates a challenge for synagogues like ours where we are used to services starting at the same time regardless of the variations of sunset and sunrise, but I believe I have figured out a way to keep our weekday minyan at 7:45 on Tuesday while not starting Shavuot early.

Since Shavuot commemorates the revelation of the Torah, it is traditional to have a tikkun, a Torah study session of some sort in observance of the holiday.

On the first night of Shavuot, Tuesday, June 11, our evening minyan will begin with mincha as usual at 7:45 pm. After mincha we will have a study session led by Rabbi Arian for about 20 minutes and at 8:20 we will have ma’ariv for the first day of Shavuot. We will be looking at the first Mishna of Pirke Avot, what it meant for the Sages and what if anything it means for us.

Because Wednesday and Thursday are full holidays the office will be closed those days, and the activities which normally take place (mahjong, my drop-in hours, Adult Education) will not take place. Remember also that Yizkor is recited during the services for the second day of Shavuot on Thursday morning.

As a reminder, I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 4 at the shul. For my drop-in hours, 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. There will be no drop-in hours on Thursday June 13 nor will there be Adult Education that evening due to the Shavuot holiday.

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; 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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