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

Parshat Shoftim

7:00PM Friday Davening

7:38PM Candle Lighting

9:00AM Shacharit

7:30PM Shabbat Mincha

8:36PM Shabbat Ends

8:15AM Sunday Shacharit

Tuesday Tanya 8:00PM

Aug 12, 19, 26 @ 8PM
Keys to Jewish Spirituality
A mini-series with Elul in mind. Led by Rabbi Uri at his home, 4909 Baltic Ave

August 25 @ 8:00PM
Kol Neshamah: A Women's Discussion Group. "Figuring out your purpose." At the home of Jackie Krisch, 5004 Baltic Ave.

August 28 @ 6:30PM
Kids' Kabbalat

August 30 @ 9:30AM
New Year, New You
An Elul Yom Iyun program of the Beltway Vaad at Ohev Shalom. Click here for more info.

August 30 @ Noon
Grand Slam Jewish Community Day at the Nationals

August 30 @ 7:30PM
Religious Committee Meeting (all are welcome!)

Sept 5 @ 10:00PM
Selichot Kumzitz 

Sept 7 @ 8:15AM
Labor Day Minyan

Sept 15
2nd Day Rosh Hashanah Community Luncheon

We have a wonderful opportunity for you to enhance your sukkah and support your shul at the same time. A local artist has begun printing some of her beautiful illuminated manuscript art on durable outdoor vinyl to be enjoyed in the sukkah. Here is a link to her website:   

A significant percentage of the purchase price will be donated to Beth Joshua. Just enter the code BETHJOSHUA in the comments box when you order.   
A Taste of New Orleans this Shabbat
Rabbi Uri picture

Dear Friends,

This weekend, our family will be visiting New Orleans, commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and reconnecting with old friends.

The community is understandably ambivalent about yet another Katrina anniversary - it is hard to move on when you keep looking back. But of course, you cannot ignore the past either. The theme of my former synagogue’s dinner on Sunday is “10 Years Forward,” and will surely attempt to strike a healthy balance of old and new.

As we pack for our first return trip to the Big Easy, where we spent six formative years of our family life, I find myself reminiscing over many meaningful moments in the recovery and rebuilding of our community there.

At the dedication of our new synagogue in New Orleans on the 7th anniversary of Katrina, I spoke about a moving passage from the Book of Ezra (3:10), which describes the celebrations surrounding the construction of the Second Holy Temple in Jerusalem more than 2,500 years ago:

וְיִסְּדוּ הַבֹּנִים, אֶת-הֵיכַל יְהוָה; וַיַּעֲמִידוּ הַכֹּהֲנִים מְלֻבָּשִׁים בַּחֲצֹצְרוֹת, וְהַלְוִיִּם בְּנֵי-אָסָף בַּמְצִלְתַּיִם--לְהַלֵּל אֶת-יְהוָה, עַל-יְדֵי דָּוִיד מֶלֶךְ-יִשְׂרָאֵל.

“And when the builders laid the foundation of God’s Sanctuary, the Kohanim came out in full apparel blowing trumpets. The Levites were dancing with their cymbals…”

But alongside the shouts of joy, were a different set of cries:

וְרַבִּים מֵהַכּהֲנִים וְהַלְוִיִּם וְרָאשֵׁי הָאָבוֹת הַזְּקֵנִים, אֲשֶׁר רָאוּ אֶת-הַבַּיִת הָרִאשׁוֹן בְּיָסְדוֹ--זֶה הַבַּיִת בְּעֵינֵיהֶם, בֹּכִים בְּקוֹל גָּדוֹל; וְרַבִּים בִּתְרוּעָה בְשִׂמְחָה, לְהָרִים קוֹל.

“And many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the elders that had seen the glory of the first house standing on its foundation, wept with a loud voice when this house was before their eyes.”

As some celebrated the newness and were shouting with joy, others were reminiscent of the old, crying with sadness for what they no longer had.

The story in Sefer Ezra ends with a poignant line:

וְאֵין הָעָם, מַכִּירִים קוֹל תְּרוּעַת הַשִּׂמְחָה, לְקוֹל, בְּכִי הָעָם

“And you could not tell the difference between the shouts of joy and the cries of tears.”

The people had become one. The tears of joy and sadness had mixed together to create a more wholesome and honest cry. The young could lean on their elders and listen to their memories, and the parents could lift up their children and celebrate their future.

This was the story of the second Beit HaMikdash. I think it also offers a prescription for a healthy New Orleans "10 Years Forward."

This week, we immerse ourselves in Elul, a month which I think relates very much to story in Ezra. 

As the last month, Elul invites us to reflect on the past year, and consider the one to come. Personally, it is a month of mixed tears.

It is a time I recall what was lost, or under-achieved, in the past 12 months. I think about mistakes I’ve made and decisions I wish I could take back. These reflections bring tears of sadness and disconnection.

But Elul is also a time when I feel tremendous pride in all that was accomplished, and when I experience a surge in energy, propelling me forward into the potential of 5776. These ideas bring tears of hope and anticipation.

As we blast the shofar daily this Elul, I bless us with the strength to blend the tears of 5775 in healthy harmony. Together they form an honest expression of where we stand, and enable us to embrace the beautiful, messy newness that 5776 will bring... and 10 years forward.

Shabbat Shalom! See you in shul,
Rabbi Uri


youth handprint

Our youth department is seeking donations of certain books, toys, crafts, and other supplies. Click here to view a detailed list.

8/22 Shabbat morning groups change: 
Groups are from 10:30-11:30AM for free play in the little gym, big gym, and kindergym. There will be no Tot Shabbat or other groups before then. The playroom and nursing room are available from 9:00am until after kiddush. Thank you to Jackie Krisch for overseeing groups on 8/22!

New fall groups begin August 29th Thanks to countless volunteers for signing up to lead classes, oversee gym time, and babysit the kids!

Shabbat Morning Schedule
Groups meet weekly on Shabbat. Yom Tov schedules vary.
All groups include time in the main sanctuary in age-appropriate ways. Groups include a snack at 10:30.
Grade 5-6: Dunk n’ Daven
Meets in Cafeteria, and includes davening in the main sanctuary.
11:00-11:35 Free play in big gym
Babies – PreSchoolers: Tot Shabbat
**Children must always be supervised by an adult.**
9:30am-10:15am Playroom is open in Bandroom 1
10:15am - 11:00am Tot Shabbat Program in Bandroom 1.
11:00am - apx 11:45am Freeplay in Kindergym or Playground
Kindergarten – 2nd grade
10:15am - 11:00am in Bandroom 2
11:00am - apx 11:35am (end of Musaf) Freeplay in Little Gym (ages 5-8)
3rd – 4th grade
10:15am - 11:00am in Library
11:00am – apx 11:35am (end of Musaf) Free play in Little Gym (ages 5-8)
11:00am – apx 11:35 (end of Musaf) Free play in Big Gym (ages 9+)

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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