A few notes on this beautiful Friday morning as we await Shabbat Nachamu, the Shabbat after Tisha B’Av when we seriously begin the countdown to Rosh Hashanah.
Starting Sunday evening, we will once again be saying only Ma’ariv at our 7:45 evening minyan. The general rule is that Mincha needs to be finished before sundown and so we generally stop saying it as part of our minyan the week when Shabbat candlelighting is 7:45 or earlier. With candle lighting a week from today at 7:40, this coming week is when we will make the change.
I want once again to make a pitch that you do your best to attend Shabbat morning services in person. I understand that there are folks with legitimate health reasons why attending in person might be too risky for them, even as the CDC is starting to say we are moving from the “pandemic” to “endemic” phase of COVID. But if you are joining us on Zoom rather than in-person purely because it is more convenient to do so, please reconsider. Those of us who attend in person on Shabbat morning on a regular basis will be truly grateful.
I wanted to note that I have switched my weekly day off to Monday instead of Tuesday. As we start to do more programs with other shuls, and as more and more professional seminars and webinars take place, I have found that the vast majority of rabbis take Monday off and scheduling meetings with other rabbis has become complicated. The one exception is that on Mondays when we have a synagogue board meeting, I will work on Monday and take Tuesday instead. Because there is a board meeting this coming Monday, Monday will be a regular work day and Tuesday will be my day off.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at email@example.com 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. Starting yesterday I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul 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.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian