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Rabbi’s Update 9/13/2023

Dear Friends:

As we approach Rosh Hashanah 5784, I want to share with you a few notes that will make your participation in our services easier and, hopefully, meaningful.

Yesterday I sent out a link to an anonymous survey that is intended to help me with one of my Yom Kippur sermons. It asks two questions: What is the purpose of Kehilat Shalom? What is the purpose of Judaism? I’m delighted that I have already received quite a few responses but I would love to receive some more. The link to the survey is here:

A reminder for those who will be participating in whole or in part on Zoom: please pay attention to whether or not your microphone is muted. We will have a number of people who will be doing readings over Zoom so it is not practical for us to keep everybody force muted. Particularly if you are on Zoom with other people in the same household, if you are unmuted and chatting with someone else in the house, it is disruptive to everyone else so please pay attention and be cooperative.

This will be the fourth year that our services will be available on Zoom -- three years ago at the height of the pandemic we were on Zoom only, and this will be the third year where are services are available in person or on Zoom. Because of that, we are assuming that those of you who will be on Zoom have a copy of the Mahzor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (a gray volume edited by Rabbi Jules Harlow and published by the Rabbinical Assembly). We distributed them extensively over the prior three years and did not request they be returned, but if you do not have one, please obtain one from the synagogue office by Friday morning.

On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, as I have done for many years, I will be doing a text study rather than a formal sermon. The text will be distributed to those in person but for those on Zoom it is available at:

Because the first day of Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbat -- which is a fairly rare occurrence, there are some changes to our practice and our schedule. The Shofar is not blown on Shabbat and Avinu Malkeinu is also not recited. Tashlich also does not take place on Shabbat so it will be on the second day, this coming Sunday. As we have done for a few years, instead of schlepping back to the shul building for afternoon service and evening minyan, these will take place right after tashlich at North Creek Lake.

I will not be holding Drop-In Hours tomorrow. If you need to reach me please email me at or phone me at 301-977-0768.

L’shana Tova,

Rabbi Charles L. Arian

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