Tomorrow morning we will announce the coming of Rosh Chodesh Elul, the beginning of the month of Elul, which actually begins next Shabbat.
Elul is of course the month leading up to the High Holidays and there are many practices connected to it to prepare us for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Among them is the sounding of the shofar at the end of morning services on weekdays (the shofar is never sounded on Shabbat.)
Because Kehilat Shalom does not have weekday morning services except on Sundays, we have developed the practice of sounding the shofar at the end of evening minyan. (There is no halachic reason why this should not be done since the sounding of the shofar during Elul is a custom and not a law [as evidenced by the fact that it is done without pronouncing a b’racha, a blessing.]) We will begin our sounding of the shofar after minyan on Sunday night August 28 if there is someone present who knows how to do so. If you would like to gain some experience with sounding the shofar, just show up at minyan with your shofar!
I wanted to once again 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.
I am having drop-in hours on Thursday afternoon from 2 to 4 at the shul. You do not need to make an appointment -- that would undo 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.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. 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