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Shabbat Shalom from Beth Joshua Cong. of Aspen Hill!
BJ Logo Final 3

Shabbat Vayakhel

5:46PM Candle Lighting

5:50PM Friday Davening

9:00AM Shacharit followed by Kiddush sponsored by the Charnov family in honor of the birth of their second daughter. Mazel Tov!

Click here for a list of all our sponsorship opportunities.

There will not be a Rabbi's Shiur this Shabbat afternoon.

5:45PM Shabbat Mincha

6:00PM Special Seudah Shlishit JDC presentation

6:46PM Shabbat Ends not before this time.

8:15AM Sunday Shacharit


Mazel Tov to Avigail & Aharon Charnov, and big sister Dafna, on the birth of a baby girl! The baby will be named on Shabbat morning, and there will be a Simchat Bat celebration at Family Minyan on Sunday morning.

Mazel Tov to Judah Teitelbaum, and to his parents, Aton & Arielle, on his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat in Kemp Mill. Rabbi Topolosky will be attending and speaking at the Bar Mitzvah, and therefore, will not be in Aspen Hill this Shabbat. 

March 5 @ 6PM

Seudah Shlishit/Havdalah: 

Update on the Joint / JDC

with guest, Will Recant, Assis. Exec VP of the JDC.

Click here for more info.

March 6 @ 10AM

Family Minyan with special planting project to prepare for Good Deeds Day!

***NEW CLASS SERIES: "Struggles of the Modern State of Israel"

This Monday, March 7, at 8PM at Beth Joshua, and next Monday at Tikvat Israel.

This is a joint program with our neighbor synagogue, Tikvat Israel. Rabbis Ben Shull and Uri Topolosky will co-teach the class. Click here for more info.

March 8 @ 6:30PM

Aliyah Event with Nefesh B’Nefesh at the Jewish Federation of GW

March 23 @ 7PM

Mincha & Magic Show followed by Megillah Reading at 8PM. (There will be a second reading at 9:15PM.)

March 24 

Purim Day activities, including a 4:00PM Family-Friendly Megillah Reading, our joint 5:00PM Seudah with Berman - Register here, and a 7PM Shushan Purim Seudah at the Topolosky home.

March 27

YCT Rabbinical School Dinner in NY honoring Rabbi Uri & Dahlia.

April 10

Good Deeds Day

Beth Joshua is partnering with Bikur Cholim. You can register here. We will be planting seedlings created by the children at Sunday's Family Minyan, and older children and adults can sign up for the landscape project at the new Bikur Cholim House on this day. 

A Taste of Eco-Kashrut for Shabbat

Dear Friends,

Rabbi Uri picture

This year, our 6+ youth group has devoted a number of Sunday morning programs to exploring the world of Kashrut. This past Sunday, they discussed another dimension of understanding about the food they consume in a program about “Eco-Kashrut.”

The word “Kosher” actually comes from Megillat Esther (8:5), and simply means, “fair” or “accurate.” While we typically use this term to categorize food that has been prepared according to proper halachik food guidelines, it has also been meaningfully expanded by some to think about other Torah guidelines that reference the treatment of people and animals. In this sense, “Eco-Kashrut” refers to a certain expected standard of ethical treatment of animals or laborers (as well as a healthy awareness of the environment) in the process of bringing food to our tables.

Led by our youth director, Carmiya Weinraub, our focus this week with our youth was about the chocolate trade. (Chocolate was a good draw!) The kids were surprised to hear about issues of child labor, slavery, and trafficking that occur in Africa’s Ivory Coast on its cocoa bean farms. We studied about the “Fair Trade” movement, which attempts to limit these issues, and we ate lots of chocolate produced by companies who have pledged to follow higher ethical standards.

I also shared this lesson with my high school students, and we even made our own “Fair Trade” milk chocolate drops! But I added a layer of appreciation from our Chumash curriculum. We are studying the 10 Commandments as they are retold by Moshe in the book of Devarim. Notably, Moshe changes the language of the Mitzvah of Shabbat in this second version. Instead of mentioning that we observe Shabbat as a reminder of the 7th day of rest in Creation, Moshe emphasizes the fact that Shabbat is a meaningful time to reflect on the Exodus from Egypt.

Perhaps Moshe offers this change of emphasis in order to make Shabbat more relatable to his people. A nation that has just emerged from Egypt, and understands what it means to have rest from slavery and be masters of their own time, can uniquely appreciate this aspect of Shabbat.

With this subtle textual difference in the Mitzvah of Shabbat, I believe that Moshe is setting an example how all of us might strive to personalize the Mitzvot of the Torah. My students easily made the connection from Moshe’s version of Shabbat, to issues of modern day slavery and the Fair Trade movement. They considered how privileged they are for a holy day of rest when they are servants only to Hashem. And they thought about the responsibilities they might have towards cultivating a better Eco-Kashrut awareness of their food source.

This weekend, we can all think of one aspect of Shabbat that uniquely excites us to celebrate it richly.  We can wonder how we emphasize its importance to our children, and what messages of Shabbat personally inspire us to take action in our world.

Let this be some Shabbat food for thought!

Shabbat Shalom! See you in shul,

Rabbi Uri


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Shabbat Children's Programs

9:15AM - 5th and 6th graders (and 7th graders who wish to) meet in the cafeteria.
9:30AM - Tot room opens for supervised play 
10:15AM - Groups begin for Tots, K-2nd grade, and 3rd-4th grade.

March 6 @ 10:00AM

Family Minyan
Family Minyan is where mommies and daddies (or grandparents!) can join with their little ones (geared to ages 0-5) in shul with Rabbi Uri and Rebbetzin Dahlia. The Family minyan is a monthly, 40-minute, musical, engaging prayer service geared to children. A bagel brunch and kid activity planting seedlings for our Good Deeds Day Bikur Cholim Project will follow. Save the next dates for Family Minyan.

Sponsors are welcome - celebrate a family simcha with us!

Questions? Contact Carmiya:

Your feedback is appreciated! RSVP to this email.
Beth Joshua Congregation of Aspen Hill
13300 Arctic Ave, Rockville, MD 20853
301.962.9400 x5247

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Beth Joshua Congregation
13300 Arctic Ave
Rockville, Maryland 20853

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