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Shabbat HaGadol

04/03/2020 11:41:18 AM


I hope this message finds you and your family in good health and good spirits. This Shabbat is called Shabbat Hagadol - the Great Shabbat because it precedes the festival of Passover. Unfortunately, this Shabbat does not feel so great. In fact, Passover isn’t looking too hot either. 

Folks are preparing for very lonely Seders. Children will be missing their parents, families and neighbors will not be joining together to share Pesach. However sad it makes us this year, we must heed the advice of the experts who warn about the dangers of even small gatherings. 

The Torah teaches: ובחרת בחיים - “Choose life.” Our tradition is clear that safety, security, and health are paramount. Therefore we must urge everyone to stay home and not risk further spreading of this terrible virus. God willing, next year we will have more around our seer tables than ever before. This year, we choose life. Many halakhic authorities have written about the use of Zoom for the seders so that people will not be alone or be tempted to risk venturing out. We support this approach and trust that you will do what feels right and safe for your family, during these very trying times. Although we are unable to join together this Yom Tov, we invite you to participate with us in these live virtual sessions:

Siyyum Bechorim & Shacharit 
Wednesday, April 8th at 8:30 a.m.

Join me for morning services and as we complete a tractate and share in a virtual celebratory breakfast. The Siyyum Bechorim will follow the Shacharit Service in our Virtual Beit Midrash. Zoom link here.

Virtual Seder
Wednesday, April 8th at 7:15 - 8:15 p.m.

I am pleased to invite you to my home via Zoom to share the first Seder together. You’ll need to click on this link and register (it’s free) in order to receive the link and password. Call the office to arrange pickup of Haggadot for your home Seder, if needed.

Tuesday, April 14th at 6:30 p.m.

Yizkor usually draws a crowd to the synagogue. Memories of loved ones who have passed flood our minds during the holidays. Join me and Cantor Bazian as we honor their memories at a special live Yizkor service on the last day of Chol Hamoed in our Virtual Beit Midrash. Zoom link here.

I suppose the only thing “great” about this Shabbat is the goodness that so many in our community are displaying and how we are coming together in spirit and effort, if not in person. Your kindess in reaching out to seniors and people you know from shul has been so beautiful. Your calls asking how you can directly help people in our own community and beyond who are in need have made such an impact on the lives and well being of others. Please continue to reach out and take care of each other.

As always, we are here for you. We are all in this together, Jews and non-Jews, young and old, rich and poor. We will grow in doing what we have always done - taking care of one another. I am happy to take your calls and emails for pastoral counsel or if you just walk to talk. 301-649-3800.

Wishing you and your family a peaceful and “great” Shabbat. May God send healing to the world and spread a Sukkah of peace over us and all of creation.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Suson

Sat, July 2 2022 3 Tammuz 5782