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Rabbi Aft's Weekly Message- April 8, 2016

04/08/2016 01:06:46 PM


Special Shabbat Service UPDATE!!!!   Friday, April 8th, 2016 • 29 adar II 5776



This week at Congregation Adat Reyim, we will be holding one Shabbat Evening service that will begin at 7:00 pm.  Services will include young families and participation from religious school.


There will be a Religious School Potluck Dinner before services in the Education Wing.

We are holding one service at an earlier time this Shabbat so that our entire community, both young and older, may worship together as one before those with earlier bed times need to go home to go to sleep.  


For that reason, our 8:00 pm service has been canceled for this Friday.


Please contact Rabbi Aft if you have any questions.

Pre-Passover Extravaganza! 

A combined event for Religious and Pre-School parents, and all Adult Learners.


Creating a Memorable Seder!


Sunday April 17, 9:15-10:30 am, Classrooms C & D (next to the sanctuary)

Over 90% of American Jews celebrate Passover.  Many feel it is one of the keys to Jewish continuity.  Come join us for a lively discussion with Rabbi Aft and our panel of parents and grandparents as we explore the beauty and depth of the most widely observed Jewish Holiday.  We’ll discuss how make seder entertaining for young children, how to involve teens in a discussion, and how to make it new & exciting for those who’ve been at seder for decades.

And of course we’ll talk about food !


 Refreshments will be served, please RSVP 

Dear Friends,


"Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack..."


It's opening week in the baseball world and as I write this, my Chicago White Sox are having their best start since 2005 when they won the World Series and the Nationals are in first place.  Some of you will recognize excerpts of this column as I nostalgically recall the significance of a game of catch.  Those who are not addicted to baseball may not know that a game of catch involves a parent and child throwing a baseball back and forth as a way of bonding and sharing love and affection.


On July 13, 1998, eight days after my father died, Roger Rosenblatt wrote an essay in Time Magazine, called "A Game of Catch, Tossed back and forth, the ball expresses all that is between them"


In light of my recent article about Adam LaRoche and his son, Drake, I thought this would express the relationship which a game of catch can facilitate...


Rosenblatt writes,


"Summer is the season for it. I dream and see the children when they were children, one at a time, standing on a lawn or on a playground, waiting for the ball to reach them. Their hug-me arms waver in the hot, wet air, as if they are attempting to embrace something vast and invisible. Their eyes blink in the sunlight. They stagger and stumble.

It's hard to learn to play catch. In the beginning, you use your arms to cradle the ball against your chest; then you use both hands, then one...They do not call it a game of throw, though throwing is half the equation.  The name of the game puts the burden on the one who receives, but there is really no game to it.  Nobody wins or loses.  You drop the ball; you pick it up...We go back and forth in an essential gesture of sports.  A ball travels between two people, each seeking a moment of understanding from the other, across the year and the years.  To play a game of catch is not like pitching to a batter.  You do not throw to trick, confuse or evade:  you want to be understood.  The poet Richard Wilbur once visited a poetry class that I was in, and he told a girl who had figured out a line of his, "It's nice to have someone catch what you're throwing."  A game of catch is an essential gesture of parenthood too, I believe, when families are working well.  Everyone tosses to be understood.  The best part of the game is the silence...Nietzsche said there is nothing so serious as a child at play.  He could have added," of a grownup either."...


We do what we can as parents, one child at a time.   We take what we get in our children, and they take what they get in us, making compromises and adjustments where we are able, making rules and explanations, but for the most part letting things happen, come and go, back and forth.  The trick, I think, is to recognize the moments when nothing needs to be said..." 


(I hope you try to read the entire article...if you want a copy, please contact me at with the subject Rosenblatt article and tell me of your game of catch or equivalent with your parent or child)


So, as we celebrate Opening Day and Opening Week in baseball, I am reminded of the Biblical Scroll of Kohelet or Ecclesiastes, that suggests there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent.  May our moments of conversation and silence help us form the eternal bonds that games of catch provided me and numerous other baseball fans who would love to have one more game of catch with our parents.


Shabbat Shalom and Go White Sox and Nationals  May you both meet in the World Series!


Rabbi Bruce Aft

Congregation Adat Reyim


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6500 Westbury Oaks Court

Springfield, VA 22152


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