This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity and emotion for me. On Shabbat morning, as you know, I was honored with presentations and a special kiddush marking my ten years of service to Kehilat Shalom. I was presented with a truly beautiful Gary Rosenthal Hanukiyyah and a booklet with the texts of most of the talks given that morning. I want to thank everyone who put in so much effort to make the ceremony and the kiddush after so lovely, meaningful, and tasty. A video of the morning's proceedings is available here.
On Sunday morning my brother and I left very early for Queens, NY, for my father’s tombstone dedication ceremony. It’s not quite a year since my dad passed away -- in fact, the first day of Rosh Hashanah will be the last day of my 11 months of saying Kaddish for him. Being in New York City on 9/11 added a special poignancy to the occasion. My stepmother worked at the World Financial Center and was part of the throng of thousands who made their way on foot along the Hudson River away from the carnage. My brother did business with Cantor Fitzgerald and lost many friends and clients on that day.
This Saturday night September 17 we will be joining B’nai Shalom of Olney, Tikvat Israel, and Shaare Tefila for Selichot services and program. The evening’s events will take place at Tikvat Israel, 2200 Baltimore Rd. in Rockville, beginning with Havdalah at 8:30 pm. If you cannot attend in person you can view the livestream here.
Our guest speaker will be Wayne Hoffman, executive editor of Tablet magazine and author of The End of Her: Racing Against Alzheimer's to Solve a Murder, published by Heliotrope Books. This book is the true story of his efforts to uncover the details of his great-grandmother’s murder while watching his mother decline due to Alzheimer’s disease. He is also the author of three novels. Mr. Hoffman’s talk will begin at around 9 pm followed by a brief Selichot service at 9:45. Participating in the service will be the rabbis and cantors of the four congregations.
While I have switched my day off from Tuesday to Monday, our board meetings this year are on Monday nights. So this coming week I will be working on Monday and taking Tuesday off 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 email@example.com 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