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Love and holiness: Being present and extraordinary

Posted inAdult Education, Community Interest, From The Rabbi, Youtube

Love and holiness: Being present and extraordinary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO1e4A6qsqc This week we read two portions of the Torah combined – Acharei Mot and Kedoshim. It is striking that parasha Kedoshim appears in this book. It draws attention because it is nothing like the style of Sefer Vayikra, the Book of Leviticus. It is not a text composed solely of sacrificial instructions, nor targeted to the priests and Levites alone, but to all the people - unlike the rest of the book. One of  Read More »

Posted inAdult Education, Community Interest, Events, Featured Event, Zoom

Adult Education – Insiders and Outsiders: The Jews of Virginia

When: Monday, April 26, 7:30 PM  9:00 PM Jews have been both insiders and outsiders in America as antisemitism ebbs and flows, often in direct relationship to the virulence of white supremacy and racism. American Jews have been defined both as white and non-white, sometimes welcomed among the dominant elites and sometimes restricted and shunned both as non-white and religiously as outsiders. In Virginia and across the South, where the distinction of color has been the  Read More »

Posted inChronicle, Community Interest, Events, Religious Services, Zoom

Andy Lovinger’s Milestone Bar Mitzvah Anniversary

Refer to the April 6th This Week at Etz Hayim for connection information. Andy Lovinger will celebrate his special (40th? 50th? 60th?) anniversary by chanting the parsha using the ancient trope (melody) of the Greek Jews as he did at his bar mitzvah in Athens. Before that, he will explain the differences between this and our own Ashkenazi trope. He will also chant the haftarah, but with our Ashkenazi trope which is the only way  Read More »

Couting the Omer: Creating a Meaningful Journey

Posted inCommunity Interest, From The Rabbi, Omer, Religious Services

Couting the Omer: Creating a Meaningful Journey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usULgOdC8Fs At the end of the second Seder, we start counting 49 days until Shavuot. This period of seven weeks is known as the Omer.In ancient Israel society, this was the time when they would start the barley harvest and bring a meal prepared with the first grains to the Temple in Jerusalem. At the end of this seven weeks, it was time to start the harvest of wheat, which is one of the events  Read More »

Posted inChronicle, Community Interest, From The Rabbi, Religious Services

Message from Rav Natan – March 2021

There is a great ongoing rabbinic discussion: “Is it better to say the Shema at the optimal time (earlier) at home or wait to arrive at the synagogue and do it with the community?” The dilemma between prioritizing one element over another in order to decide if one should pray at home or at the synagogue is not new to our people, while the reasons for that dilemma might have changed many times over the  Read More »

Posted inBoard, Community Interest

USCJ Board of Directors Training continues at Congregation Etz Hayim

On March 14, 2021, the CEH Board had its most recent training session as part of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) Board of Directors Training Program that we began in September 2020. Thanks to Board members for taking time out of their schedules to attend these sessions and to provide insightful comments and feedback. And many thanks to Mike Stein, Dan Rosman, Jeanne Howard and Michael Rafky, who brought this valuable training program  Read More »

Posted inBoard, Chronicle, Community Interest

Message from CEH President – March 2021

In a few days from when I write this (though you may be reading this only afterwards), we will once more be telling the Passover story – how we were in bondage to a wicked ruler who would not let us go. This past year, we’ve been in bondage to a mindless virus – although unlike Pharaoh, it did nothing to keep us from leaving our homes to spread it to others. No, staying locked  Read More »

Preparing for Pesach 2021/5781 by Rav Natan

Posted inCommunity Interest, From The Rabbi, Religious Services, Zoom

Preparing for Pesach 2021/5781 by Rav Natan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ8yBnJy3Gw Ma nishtana halaila haze mikol haleilot Every year, we sing the ma nishtana as a way to ask ourselves and those sitting around the table with us: why is this night different than all other nights? Our haggadot tells us that we add particular rituals to remind us that once we were slaves and now we are a free people. It is a mitzvah, maybe the central commandment of the seder, that each one  Read More »

One Year of COVID-19 by Rav Natan

Posted inCommunity Interest, From The Rabbi, Religious Services

One Year of COVID-19 by Rav Natan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ap7yHSe7J4I . To you, GOD, I call;And to you, God, I supplicate.Hear, Adonai, and be merciful to me;God, be my help. Dear Congregation Etz Hayim, As we reach a full year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to bring a reflection about this time we are all going through. The words I just shared are from Psalm 30 and we read them every morning in the beginning of our services.  Read More »

Posted inCommunity Interest, Events, Featured Event, From The Rabbi, Religious Services, Zoom

CEH Pesach Information 2021

Etz Hayim Seder When: Sunday, March 28th Time: 6:15 - 8:00 pm Register here to attend the Seder. Let us know in your registration form if you would like to lead a part of the Seder! We will end before the meal and we will NOT come back afterward. Religious Services All services exclusively on Zoom: 3/28 Sun. - 1st day 10:00 am3/29 Mon. - 2nd day 10:00 am4/1 Thu. - Chold Hamoed 8:00 am4/2  Read More »

Posted inCommunity Interest, Events, Religious Services, Zoom

Purim Spiel and Mask Decorating – Recap

On February 25, 2021, Congregation Etz Hayim took a virtual trip to Shushan for a “Choose Your Own Megillah” Purim spiel. Rachel Waldstein directed an all-star cast of CEH congregants in a retelling of the Purim story. Cast members included: Irene Bleiweiss (Hatacha/Courtier), Jenn Rosenberg (Vashti), Jonah Rosman (Mordechai), Ben Simon (Narrator) Gary Singer (Sock/Haman), Mike Stein (King Ahasheurus), and Kira Weiman (Esther). The cast was rounded out by the technical team of Gabriel Ascoli  Read More »

Posted inChronicle, Community Interest, Events, Social Action

Mishloach Manot and AFAC Food Collection – Event Recap

On Sunday, February 21, 2021, CEH showed an amazing amount of community ruach (spirit), as we gathered in the parking lot to distribute mishloach manot and collect donations for Arlington Food Assistance Center. We distributed about 80 bags of delicious hamantaschen and collected an amazing 1,257 pounds of food for AFAC. It was so wonderful to see everyone and catch up---thank you to everyone who came out!

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