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Weekly Message From Rabbi Aft

07/24/2015 11:50:44 AM




Dear Friends,


Once again as I write this column, there has been another shooting.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in Louisiana who have been either murdered or wounded and their families.  The randomness of this kind of violence is scary and is another reminder to cherish each day.  I hope that those who are motivated to be politically active on how to deal with this violence will be diligent in pursuing ways to eliminate these horrible acts.  After each act, we pray that the violence will end...once again we offer those prayers.


On Saturday night at 7:30pm, we will be commemorating Tisha B'Av, day which is a sad day on the Jewish calendar.  (See brief description below from My Jewish  I hope you will join us for our service and study session.


When we were in Prague during my sabbatical, we attended a wedding of a rabbinical student.  The wedding was held on the date that was the bloodiest day during the Holocaust for the Czech people.  There was a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of having a wedding on this day.  Some people felt that it was a wonderful way in which to show that the Czech Jewish community is still alive and has a strong future.  Others felt it was not appropriate for a day of mourning in our tradition.  I personally am conflicted on this issue since I believe that we do remember the tragedies that have befallen our people when we break the glass at a wedding.  However, the level of suffering that has been inflicted on this day does warrant communal commemoration.  Once again, I hope that you will join us tomorrow night and will make your own judgment after experiencing a Tisha B'Av service and program.


As I mentioned last week, we will be having a special book of reflections for the High Holidays.  We are grateful to Emil Regelman for offering to compile this book.  In honor of the beginning of our 25th year together, we are asking folks to submit reflections on what being part of Congregation Adat Reyim has meant to you.  We also hope that folks might submit special poems, readings, traditions, or thoughts about the High Holidays.  We would love to hear about special people who you think about at this time of year.  We are open to other reflections if there are special things you would like to share with others.


Please submit your thoughts directly to me at by August 14 so I can read them and share them with Emil as he works on the book.  Please include "reflections book" in the subject line.  If you have any questions, please let me know by e-mailing me at the above address or calling my study line. 


Shabbat Shalom,


Rabbi Bruce Aft


Tisha B’Av (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) begins at sunset on Saturday, July 25, 2015, and continues until the evening of July 26th.

What is Tisha B’Av?

Tisha B’Av is the major day of communal mourning.  First and foremost Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem (586 B.C.E, and 70 C.E respectively), but many other travesties have occurred on the same date.

How is Tisha B’Av observed?

On Tisha B’Av Eicha (the book of Lamentations) is read with a unique nusah, a special melody.

As a sign of mourning it is customary to fast, refrain from bathing, wearing leather shoes, and having sexual relations.


Congregation Adat Reyim


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Springfield, Virginia 22151


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