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November 2020 Rabbi Arnow's Article

For Now As Elton John sang, “I think it’s gonna be a long, long time.”  I write this in the middle of October, and it seems like COVID is going to be with us for a while, and shul as we knew it will be a long time in returning to “normal.”  So what do we do in the meantime?  We’ll keep doing minyan on Zoom. For so many of us, gathering, even virtually, seeing and hearing others and being heard and seen by others...Read more...

September 2020 Rabbi Arnow's Article

Is All Torah Local? Should Kol Rinah be offering classes geared toward adults on Zoom during the pandemic?   On the face of it, it’s an absurd question -- of course we should! We’re a synagogue; we do Jewish education, we can’t do anything in person now, so let’s at least have classes on Zoom. And Rabbi Shafrin and I have been teaching Torah Talk on Fridays; Wendy Love Anderson has been coordinating community learning on Sundays...Read more...

July 2020 Special- Rabbi Arnow

Click here for the entire July 2020 Special Edition Building Sacred Community What is Kol Rinah? Kol Rinah is our ambitious vision and nearly completed new facility that will help Kol Rinah build a sacred community today, tomorrow and for generations to come. And Kol Rinah is so much more. Kol Rinah is twice-daily minyanim led by our congregants. Kol Rinah is our Chesed Committee, which supports congregants going through difficult...Read more...

May 2020 Rabbi Arnow's Article

I often use this column to talk about an upcoming event in the life of our congregation. As I write this, soon after Passover, it’s unclear when exactly we’ll have another event together again. We know this distancing will not last forever, but we don’t know how long it will last. So, making plans for future programs is not so easy, especially not for the near future. One of the things I’m thinking about is, after all of this is past...Read more...

March 2020 Rabbi Shafrin's Article

Raising Our Voices

As March begins, we see one of my favorite holidays on the horizon: Purim. I love Purim. I like the silliness of a good schtick and the fun of getting into costume. I like joining together with our community and celebrating with humor, joy, food, dancing, and happiness, just because we can. I like seeing the smiles on children’s faces as they shake a gragger or taste a hamantaschen. And I absolutely love our...Read more...

January 2020 Rabbi Arnow's Article

Trying Something New at Shul

My first year at Kol Rinah, Rabbi Brad Artson came as a scholar-in-residence, and I remember so clearly something he said. He asked, "Are you willing to make shul for the people who are not yet there?" What he meant by this was, "when we think about the way we construct the prayer experiences we offer, to what extent do we try to meet the needs of and engage people who are not currently being engaged...Read more...

November 2019 Rabbi Arnow's Article

Dr. Marjorie Lehman, Scholar-in-Residence at Kol Rinah

Kol Rinah is, of course, an egalitarian congregation--men and women participate equally in ritual. But as we know, life is so much more than ritual. Ritual is actually a way of being neater and more orderly than life ever can be. Ritual has fixed rules and structure; life is messy. 

While in our synagogue, ritual is egalitarian, in our society, Jewish and secular,...Read more...

September 2019 Rabbi Shafrin's Article

Turning Over a New Leaf

As we move through the month of Elul and into the High Holiday season and the New Jewish year of 5780, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate how many incredible things we have been able to mark as a community. New members have joined our community and entered our world. We have stood up for one another, and for people around the world, when they were vulnerable. We have come together to celebrate our greatest...Read more...

July 2019 Rabbi Arnow's Article

“When do I bow, and why do some people fully prostrate?”

“Can I learn some of the songs we’ll sing?”

“What am I supposed to do during the Priestly Blessing? And what are the Kohanim (priests) doing under their tallitot, anyway?”

“And how exactly do you sound the shofar, because I’d like to try to see if I could do it.”

These questions will be the focus of the High Holiday prep classes...Read more...

March 2019 Rabbi Arnow's Article

I was fascinated and delighted to have more than twenty people come to the series of classes I taught on kashrut and serving as a volunteer mashgiach (kosher supervisor). This was a very different kind of class from what we usually teach at Kol Rinah. Usually, the focus is on the meaning we can derive from the texts. For example, Torah Talk is usually focused both on better understanding the text of the Torah, but also thinking about the...Read more...

January 2019 Rabbi Arnow's Article

One of my favorite things to do is prepare for Torah Talk. I love opening up the Etz Hayim Chumash, and just reading through that week’s portion, until I find a few words I don’t understand, or a detail I never noticed, or something that seems interesting or unclear. I’ll open up a Mikraot Gedolot, a “Great Scriptures,” an edition of the Torah with lots of classic commentaries on it to see if there’s much on the thing I’ve...Read more...

November 2018 Rabbi Arnow's Article

Holidays, Late and Early Is Hanukkah late this year? Is Passover early? When is Purim? These are questions we all hear every so often, so perhaps it’d be helpful to explain a little something about the Jewish calendar. The solar calendar is about 365 days, whereas the lunar (i.e. Jewish and Muslim) calendar is 354 days. So, every year, the Jewish calendar slips 11 days earlier in relation to the solar calendar. If Passover is on April 11,...Read more...
Fri, November 27 2020 11 Kislev 5781