Dear Kol Rinah Family,
Passover is coming! If you are looking for a seder to go to, either first or second night, please call the office (314-727-1747) or e-mail me. We have several people who have offered to host, but could also use more hosts-so let us know if you have a little room at your seder table.
Shabbat is coming too. Tonight, services will be in the chapel at 6pm. We’ll be joined by a bunch of our USYers, and we’ll have a d’var Torah from two of our USY leaders, Yael Portman and Noa Hahn, as well as lots of singing and music. Candle lighting is at 7:17pm.
Tomorrow morning services begin at 9am. I’ll be leading Torah Talk at 10:10am, where we’ll look at the end of the Haftarah for this week, which also happens to be the end of the book(s) of prophets. I’ll also be giving a sermon entitled, “Kosher For Passover: Failure and Possibility.”
Beginning Saturday at 10am is a day of learning (yom iyyun) for KoREH, our religious school.   Rabbi Shafrin has a full morning of learning planned for our students. All kids K-7, whether enrolled in KoREH or not, are invited.
And beginning at 10:30am will be an epic Tot Shabbat Mock Seder for our younger kids and families.
Mincha will be at 6:15pm and Shabbat ends at 8:17pm.
Next Friday is taanit bechorot, the fast of the first born. First born (men and women) traditionally fast that day in commemoration of the tenth plague. However, if there’s a reason not to fast, like a siyyum, or completion ceremony of a major piece of study, one should participate in the celebration and not fast. Conveniently, Wendy Love Anderson will be completing her study of a tractate of Talmud on Friday morning. Services will be at 7am, the siyyum will be at about 7:40am, and we’ll have breakfast at 8am. All are invited, and a big thank you to Wendy!
We’ve been having particular trouble making minyan Sunday evenings. Sign up for minyan here and help ensure we’ll have a minyan!
Passover is indeed coming. All the Passover forms and info are here.
Sell your chametz: here’s the form.
The full Pesach service schedule is here.
The Rabbinical Assembly’s Passover Guide, which has information about what can be kashered and how, and what foods are kosher for Passover, what can be purchased before Passover without being specially marked “Kosher for Passover,” and what foods must be marked “Kosher for Passover” is here.
And now for a little Torah…
There are certain sermons or teachings that can be repeated at least every year and not be frequent enough. Here’s one.
The way most of us probably sin most regularly is through speech. We gossip, slander, and generally engage in lashon hara (bad speech) frequently. It’s bad speech that this week’s Torah portion, Metzora, is really warning us about, according to the classic rabbinic interpretation. A metzora is a person with some kind of skin affliction that is translated as (but is not) leprosy. The rabbis see the word “metzora” as a contraction of “motzi shem ra,” “one who brings out a bad name,” that is to say, one who engages in gossip and bad speech.
I’m pretty sure that gossip won’t lead to skin afflictions, nowadays. But I’m also pretty convinced that if we guard our tongues better, we’ll be happier and healthier.
Notice when you’re talking about other people. Notice when other people are talking about other people. Notice when you’re talking about someone when it’s not really necessary. Notice when you’re hearing a conversation you’d prefer not to hear. We can do something about each of these things. The question is, do we want to?
Shabbat shalom and see you in shul,
Rabbi Noah Arnow