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Shabbat Shalom from Rabbi Shafrin 1/20/2023

Dear Kol Rinah Family,

Yesterday, Rabbi Arnow and I, along with our Executive Director, Stacey Hudson, were privileged to be a part of a momentous event. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the Women's Legal Action Center, and local legal partners, filed a lawsuit against the state of Missouri on behalf of thirteen clergy plaintiffs of a variety of faiths. At issue was the total ban on abortion that the Missouri Legislature crafted and Governor Parson signed, which in both its core intent and its wording flies directly in the Establishment Clause of our state Constitution, which expressly bars lawmakers from enacting any law that either prevents the free exercise of one's own religion or forces individuals to abide by the tenets of another religion.

No matter what your personal feelings on this issue might be, the fact is that the intent of these laws expressly use one narrow, religious ideology to craft a statute that affects the lives, health, and freedoms of every citizen of this state, especially women and those who may become pregnant. 

I was so proud to hear my colleagues speak with the voices of prophets, to use the words of their traditions to cry out for action, to demand justice, and to call on the most powerful leaders in our state to recognize the will and needs of the people of this incredible state. I was moved to walk, hand in hand with brothers, sisters, and siblings of many faiths, from the historic Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral to the courthouse, all the while singing freedom songs.

I was proud to be there and to witness and participate in this ferocious act of moral courage, and even more heartened when our Board last night passed a motion in support of this legal effort to protect both our religious freedom as a Jewish community, but also to uphold our long-held Jewish tradition that supports a wide array of choices and reproductive freedoms.

If you would like to learn more about this legal effort, as well as what you can do to support it, there will be a webinar this Monday, January 23 at 6:30 pm led by the legal organizers and advocates:

The experience put me in mind of all that we are reading in Parashat Va'era. The Children of Israel were at their breaking point. They were stripped of their freedoms and had to cry out again and again until the Holy Blessed One could no longer stand their cries and began to upturn even the order of the natural world to give them the freedom they so richly deserved. We recount this story each year at our Pesach seders, marking Zman Cheiruteinu, "The Time of Our Freedom" with the story of how a beleaguered people were able to use their voices to cry out until justice was done.

We tell this story again and again, not only to remember that we were once enslaved, but also to recall that in every generation there are Pharaohs, powerful people who believe that everyone should think as they think, believe as they believe, and live only in the ways that they see as right and fitting. This story reminds us that every generation needs to fight for justice and ensure the rights of all people, and that it is not left up to others to make the world a just one, but it is the burden of even the least powerful to fight to make our world a better place. 

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Scott Shafrin

This week, we will be having our Tot Shabbat Service, which begins at 10:45 am in the chapel and is geared toward our families with young children, babies through about age 6. Morah Karen will be leading a lot of singing, telling stories, and having a wonderfully fun time!

This afternoon at noon, Rabbi Arnow will be leading our Torah Talk on Parashat Va'era, where we begin the first seven of the Ten Plagues. Please join us for a spirited and thoughtful discussion.

Tonight, we will have Kabbalat Shabbat in person Kol Rinah starting at 6:00 pm in our chapel.

Tomorrow, we will be meeting in the sanctuary for our Shabbat morning services starting at 9:00 am (livestream link below). 

Mincha/Ma'ariv services this Shabbat will be at 4:45 pm this Saturday afternoon.

Candle Lighting Friday night is at 4:52 pm. 

Parshah: Va'era
Torah Reading: Exodus 6:2 - 9:35
Haftarah: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21

Havdalah will be at 5:56 pm.
To join our Zoom Minyanim or classes, click on the desired meeting link, or call into either of the following numbers: 
+1 312 626 6799
+1 646 558 8656
Then, when prompted, enter the Meeting ID of the desired minyan/class then press #.  Then, when prompted, enter the password then press #.  
Services (all times Central)
Evening Minyan on Zoom ( )
Sunday-Thursday evenings at 6pm

Morning Minyan on Zoom ( )
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7am; Thursday mornings are in person only at Kol Rinah starting at 7:00 am. Sunday mornings and national holidays at 8am (not including Jewish holidays)

Learning Opportunities
Torah Talk with Rabbi Arnow or Rabbi Shafrin ( )
Every Friday at 12pm
Join us for study and discussion of the week's Torah portion.  

Kabbalat Shabbat/Shabbat morning

Fridays at 6:00pm, Saturdays at 9:00am, as well as the first day, seventh and eighth days of Passover
Click the link below, then click the triangular "play" buttom:

Until shortly before the service officially begins, there will a filler screen, but livestreamed video and sound will both start before the start of the service.  

You can also set your computer or device in advance so that this link will continue streaming continuously and you will not have to press any buttons on Shabbat. To make sure that your device will not shut itself down or do into sleep mode, follow the directions below to disable sleep mode:

For PC:
To disable automatic Sleep:
1. Open up Power Options in the Control Panel. In Windows 10 you can get there from right clicking on the start menu and going to Power Options
2. Click "change plan settings" next to your current power plan
3. Change "Put the computer to sleep" to never
4. Click "Save Changes"

For Apple Products:
1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu  > System Preferences, then click "Energy Saver."
2. Do either of the following:
          a. Set the amount of time your computer or display should wait before going to sleep: Drag the “Computer sleep” and “Display sleep” sliders, or the “Turn display off after” slider.
          b. Keep your Mac from going to sleep automatically: Select “Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off.”
Mon, March 4 2024 24 Adar I 5784