Last night we ran into a technical problem which we have seen before. If you tried to login to minyan or the subsequent Ritual Committee meeting by clicking on the link in one of the emails you receive from the shul, you got an error message which assured you that they were working to fix the problem. Let me explain what happened and how to work around it if necessary.
For reasons that I do not really understand, when you click on a link contained in an email sent via Vertical Response, our mailing provider, it does not go directly to that link. It actually goes to Vertical Response (you will see that the error message URL is at vresp.com) and then Vertical Response forwards to the actual destination. Last night this part of Vertical Response was down and it continued to be down when last I checked a few minutes ago. But Zoom was working fine. The best way to access our Zoom meetings if this happens is to copy and paste the link into your browser or go to the Zoom app, click “Join Meeting”, and then in your dropdown menu you will find “Charles Arian’s Meeting Room.” Click on that and when prompted for the passcode enter 9915. While I hope this will be resolved before Shabbat services tonight and tomorrow, I can’t guarantee it since the problem is with an external provider and not with our equipment or resources.
I want to share with you a brief thought on the Torah portion which I learned from my friend Rabbi Ken Cohen which he heard from Rabbi Yitzhak Blau of Israel.
The first verse of our Parasha is:
רְאֵ֗ה אָנֹכִ֛י נֹתֵ֥ן לִפְנֵיכֶ֖ם הַיּ֑וֹם בְּרָכָ֖ה וּקְלָלָֽה׃
"Behold I set before you today blessing and curse.”
The word “re’eh, behold” is in the singular but the word “lifneichem, before you”, is in the plural. The choices that we make as individuals affect the whole community. I’ve spoken about this before in terms of the decisions we make about participating in our congregation and of course on a larger scale in terms of how we deal with the continuing presence of COVID.
I want 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