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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 Message

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...

September 2018 Rabbi Arnow's Article

Before saying something about our High Holiday prayer options this year at Kol Rinah, I want ask something about prayer generally. Is it better to pray when you’re supposed to, or when you feel moved to? Is it better to pray the prayers that well up inside you, or the prayers other people wrote that are in the prayer book? The answer to both of these questions is, of course, “Yes!” Although we tend to focus more on fixed prayer—prayer...Read more...

July 2018 Rabbi Arnow's Article

The Right Questions What are the right questions to ask a person you see at shul? Here are some suggestions: “How are you feeling today?” “For whom are you saying Kaddish?” “My name is ____. What’s your name?” “How can I help?” “Could I sit next to you?” or “Would you like to come sit next to me?” “Can I introduce you to _____?” If someone has been sick, they may not feel like going into their whole medical...Read more...
Fri, September 18 2020 29 Elul 5780