This past Shabbat I was happy to note that we had more than a minyan attending services in person on Saturday morning. This was the case even though as always during the summer, we had some “regulars” who were traveling and thus unable to attend.
If you have not been attending Shabbat morning services in person, please consider this my personal request to do so. I recognize that there are still people with legitimate health concerns about attending, and I do not ever want to pry into people’s personal health information or attempt to “guilt” someone into doing something their doctor has told them they should not do. But we are fortunate to have a very large sanctuary, we are always running the fan to recirculate the air during services, and it’s possible to attend while staying at a safe distance from other congregants. We are going over and above County and CDC recommendations in terms of our COVID safety protocols. I am glad that we have Zoom to provide for those who live far away or are temporarily vacationing, for relatives of our members, and so on, but there is no substitute for attending in person. Please consider doing your fellow congregants a favor and join us. Enough said.
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 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.
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