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

Parshat Emor

7:00PM Friday Davening

7:50PM Candle Lighting

9:00AM Shacharit 

7:00PM Rabbi's Shiur

7:45PM Shabbat Mincha

8:54PM Shabbat ends not before this time.

Sunday Shacharit 8:15AM

Tanya Tuesdays 8PM

at Rabbi Raskin's home


May 10 @ 12:30PM
Single Jewish Moms support group Mother's Day celebration in Wheaton Park, 2000 Shorefield Rd.

May 15-16
Berman Upper School Shabbaton in Aspen Hill

May 17 @ 9:00AM
"Minyan on the Mayim" in honor of Yom Yerushalyim at Lake Needwood. Minyan with Hallel led by Rav Uri, followed by breakfast, games, and hiking options. Co-sponsored with Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim. RSVP to so we can plan breakfast appropriately.

May 17 @ 9:30AM
OU Legislative Breakfast
Silver Spring Center at Veterans Plaza

May 17 @ 12:00PM
Simchat Bat
for Talia Emunah Logan. Mazel Tov!

Shavuot plans are underway! We are planning a community luncheon on the first day of Chag and lots of learning opportunities through the 3-day holiday.
A Taste of a non-Mother's Day for Shabbat
Rabbi Uri picture

Dear Friends,

In anticipation of this Sunday, Hallmark and other various enterprises have convinced us to buy lots of Mother's Day cards, balloons, and other wares. And don't you dare to think otherwise!

I will be honored to celebrate the "moms" in my life - certainly my own wonderful mother, as well as my mother-in-law, and my holy wife - the mother of our children.

But not everyone has a mother to celebrate this weekend, and not every woman is able to celebrate motherhood this Sunday.

Our Torah is incredibly sensitive to the challenges of infertility, sensitizing us to this phenomenon which impacted many of the significant women of the Bible, and today effects 1 out of 8 Americans to various degrees. Many people also believe that to "be fruitful and multiply" is the first Mitzvah of the Torah, but it is instructive to note that the word "Mitzvah" is not used in the context of this command. Instead the Torah simply "blesses" humanity ("VaYivarech Otam") to have children. Perhaps out of sensitivity, the Torah chooses other language to outline this value. 

In many other ways, the Torah invites us to consider the mother who lost her children, for whom days like Mother's Day, can be incredibly hard. Imagine Chava on the first Friday night after Hevel has been killed and Kayin banished from his home. Consider even our enemy's mother, the mother of the Canaanite General Sisera, whose cries over her lost son evoked the compassion of the Rabbis who, according to some, ordained the 100 blasts of the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah to mimick her 100 sobs. Think about so many of the Matriarchs who struggled to have children - how many of them perhaps had their hopes raised only to lose the baby in the first trimester, or  at half-term (as my wife and I experienced), or even to carry a baby for 9 months but not to be blessed with a living child on that birthday? Some of these mothers later did have children, but that still doesn't take away the loss of the one that could have been.

We should also keep in mind the orphan who has no mother to love. Statistics show that there are more than 160 million orphans in the world and our Torah reminds us repeatedly to care for the Yatom, even equating adoption to the mitzvah of having children (Sanhedrin 19b). How can we not think of Moshe Rabbeinu, whose successful leadership can no doubt be attributed to the love he received from both his birth mother and the mother who raised him.

I often remind adults who have lost a parent that they too have been orphaned, even though they were blessed with so many years together. This Mother's Day there are many in our community who will be thinking of their dearly departed moms.

I would also like to give a shout out to all the Single Moms, many of whom are a personal inspiration for their courage and enduring strength. This Shabbat, we will read about Shlomit, a single mom with incredible challenges - the Torah's reminder that we must open our hearts and extend our hands.

This weekend, let's think broadly and thoughtfully about all the emotions surrounding Mother's Day and aspire to emulate the sensitivity found within our tradition.

Shabbat Shalom from Aspen Hill! 

See you in shul,

Rabbi Uri

Your feedback is appreciated! RSVP to this email.

Thank you to everyone who made Lag BaOmer a huge success with over 400 people, great music, and lots of great activities for all ages! What a blessing to bring together so many communities to celebrate - from our partner shuls in Olney, DC, Potomac, Rockville, and Silver Spring. We even had folks walk in off the street in Aspen Hill. 
Hinei Mah Tov u'Manayim...
Lag BaOmer pic1
Beth Joshua Congregation of Aspen Hill
13300 Arctic Ave, Rockville, MD 20853
301.962.9400 x5560

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Beth Joshua Congregation
13300 Arctic Ave
Rockville, Maryland 20853

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