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Important Rosh Hashana Information from Rabbi Arnow 9/18/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

Please read to the end of this email, as there's lots of important Rosh Hashana info!   

Every year, what inspires me on the High Holidays is you--your faces, your voices, your presence, your spirit.  I will feel you watching from home, but it won't be the same.  

And for you, the external sources of inspiration will be noticeably lacking this year. The sounds, the...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 9/11/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

I woke up this morning unsettled, sad.  And I still am.  Because it's September 11th.   Even nineteen years later, the trauma of that day resides deep inside me, and maybe inside you too. 

I find myself thinking about skies.  The grayness of the sky here in St. Louis earlier this morning, that is starting now to clear up.  The unnatural, smoked skies of California...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Shafrin 9/4/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

Looking into the future has always been both tempting and fraught with peril. Throughout our canon of literature and popular culture, we have numerous stories of heroes and villians alike trying to look into to future, to travel there, to make their visions of the future into reality. And whether it's a Greek hero trying to outrun Fate or Marty McFly attempting to save his own family, forcing our way into...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 8/28/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

Have you ever read something out loud to a group and had there just be stunned silence afterward? 

That was what happened today in Torah Talk, where we've been studying the 13th century work, "Gates of Repentance" (Shaarei Teshuvah), by Rabbeinu Yona of Gerondi (soft "g" I understand).  

In discussing regret, which Rabbeinu Yona identifies as the first step of repentance, he...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Shafrin 8/21/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

Chodesh tov! Today is the first day of the month of Elul, the final month in the Jewish calendar. This entire month is often seen as a spiritual journey, marked with stops designed to push us each to reflect on ourselves and our lives. We add a special psalm, Psalm 27, to each service throughout this High Holiday season; we sound the shofar each morning in order to wake us up to the reality of who we are,...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 8/14/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

Where, when and how have you encountered God's presence this week?  

Your instinctive response might be, "Uhhhh..."  Mine too.  

But I think I can do better this week.  (And you probably could too.)  

I just finished teaching Torah Talk, our weekly class on the Torah portion, and we looked at some non-literal interpretations of a verse (Dt....Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Shafrin 8/7/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

The other day, as I was getting ready to start the morning, I walked by some pictures that we had recently put together of our family from the last year or so, and I had to stop and smile. Looking at each of them on the shelf, I was transported back to each of those happy times: a fun afternoon family hike, a visit from siblings, a special afternoon shared together. All it took was a moment, and suddenly I...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 7/31/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

I'm pretty good (most of the time) at compartmentalizing, and not taking home or dwelling on the sad things and hard things that I frequently need to hold as a rabbi.  I don't let myself get too sad from individuals' problems, or the problems of the world, probably as a way of self-preservation, but I'm also not a ruminator, by nature, which helps. 

Wednesday evening though, as we began...

Shabbat Shalom with Information about Tisha B'Av 7/24/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family,

This Wednesday evening begins the holiday of Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av. Considered a day of communal lamenting, it is one of only two full-day fasts (25 hours) on the Jewish calendar. Traditionally, this day recalls the destruction of both the 1st and 2nd Temples in Jerusalem, but it has also become a day associated with mourning the many other tragedies that the Jewish People and the...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 7/17/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family, 

Some of us are getting out, getting away.  And some of us are going stir crazy at home.  Some of us have everything and everyone we need at home, and some of us haven't had physical contact, a hug or even a handshake, with another human being, in more than four months.  Some of us are very ready to start having synagogue services and events in person (with social distancing and masks as...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Arnow 7/10/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family,

I hope you've had a good week!  

Lots is happening behind the scenes at Kol Rinah, including continued work to be able to begin using our new building, moving things from the old building to the new building, and much planning for High Holidays and the fall.  

Keep in mind that if you or someone you know is in need of support now, financial, spiritual, or otherwise, please let...Read more...

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Independence Day 7/3/2020

Dear Kol Rinah Family,

As we come into this Shabbat, many of us find ourselves in an odd position. On the one hand, this weekend celebrates America's Independence Day, a day typically full of gathering with friends and family, reflecting on our love of country and bonds of community, and crowding in parks, beaches, and city centers to watch our local fireworks displays. On the other hand, the necessary safety precautions put in place...Read more...
Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780