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Rabbi's Update 6/8/2022

Dear Friends:

We want to congratulate Julie Pfefer and Jay Scheiner and their families, including Jay’s parents and our active members Barry and Marilyn Scheiner, on their upcoming wedding. If you plan to attend services this Shabbat morning in person, including their aufruf, and particularly if you are planning to attend the kiddush afterwards, please register using the link above as soon as possible. It’s always a challenge when planning events which feature food to make sure that we have enough for everyone who attends without being wasteful, and requesting advance registration helps us to meet this challenge.

It was nice to see so many people in person for services this past Monday, the second day of Shavuot, and to join everyone for an outdoor kiddush. Thank you to Gail Lieberman and Bill Hanson for their sponsorship and to Tom and Linda Loggie and Lauri Friedman for their hard work preparing and serving.

Tomorrow night, the Rashi class will not meet. I anticipate that a lot of people will want to watch the House Select Committee hearing which begins at 8 pm. Our final Rashi class of the program year will be two weeks from tomorrow night.

Last Week’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 week 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.


Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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