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A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld

08/07/2020 10:25:54 AM

Aug7

August 7, 2020

Please Make Space for Me
Ekev, 5780

This week our congregation was able to gather in person and on zoom to listen and respond to the Read more...

A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld

07/31/2020 01:00:56 PM

Jul31

July 31, 2020

The Ultimate Tzedakah
Vaetchanan, 5780

The spring has passed and the summer is nearly over but we have not yet been saved.
Why is therRead more...

A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld |Devarim, 5780

07/24/2020 10:55:11 AM

Jul24

July 24, 2020A Shabbat of Vision (in memory of Daniel Anderl and John Lewis)Devarim, 5780This Shabbat I will be dedicating my davening and Torah Read more...

A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld | Matos-Masei 5780

07/17/2020 12:23:55 PM

Jul17

July 17, 2020

Our Past, Present, and Future
Matos--Masei (5780)

There is a parcel of land on River Road in Bethesda where indisputably the bodies of kidnapped and enslaved Africans were once buried in a cemetery known as The Moses African Cemetery.   This week for the second week in a row I joined with others to raise a voice in public protest about the desecration of these bones by developers who are building more...Read more...

A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld|Pinchas, 5780

07/10/2020 10:06:39 AM

Jul10

July 10, 2020A Fortified CityPinchas, 5780During the early days of the coronavirus epidemic I was invited by the Mayor’s office to gather with Read more...

Message from our Clergy |Chukas - Balak, 5780

07/03/2020 11:05:47 AM

Jul3

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

This Shabbat marks the first Shabbat that our community can gather again for in-person services.  We thank Hashem for this opportunity to gather in a safe manner for prayers.  At the same time we recognize that for many of us it is still too dangerous even to gather in this manner and we continue to pray for the day when all of us can gather like in the days of old.
 
This past week we have been davening outdoors with...Read more...

Message from our Clergy |Korach 5780

06/26/2020 10:04:25 AM

Jun26

June 26, 2020

Dear Ohev Community,

Please see below for a D'var Torah by Rabbi Herzfeld.

Today is the last Friday in June, and therefore the final of the four Faith Vigils Against Racism on 16th St. Though the crowds have decreased in number each week, we continue to maintain a strong presence in front of Ohev.
This past Friday's vigil was of particular significance to me because Geovanka Levine, who is a...Read more...

Message from our Clergy |Shelach, 5780

06/19/2020 10:40:50 AM

Jun19

June 19, 2020

Dear Ohev Community,

Please see below for a D'var Torah from Rabbi Herzfeld.

Today is the holiday of Juneteenth, which celebrates the day that enslaved Blacks in Texas discovered that they had been freed in 1865. As I learn more about this holiday I am reminded of Pesach - our own holiday of freedom - and the spiritual challenges it has presented to many Jews throughout history who celebrated...Read more...

Message from our Clergy | Behaalotcha  5780

06/12/2020 10:54:54 AM

Jun12

Dear Ohev Community,

Please see below for a D'var Torah from Rabbi Herzfeld.

Thank you to everyone who joined us last Friday outside of Ohev for the vigil. It was a powerful opportunity to gather with fellow Ohev members, as well as neighbors from all backgrounds. The organizers have decided to continue the vigil every Friday in June, from 5-6 pm. I hope to be there every Friday, as will other folks from our community. You...Read more...

Message from our Clergy | Naso 5780 

06/05/2020 04:34:35 PM

Jun5

June 5, 2020

 

Dear Ohev Community,

Please see below for a Dvar Torah from Rabbi Herzfeld.

Parashat Naso opens with the instructions to conduct a census of all of Israel. The word used in the Torah to refer to counting people, for which our parsha is named, is "לשאת," or "to lift up." Rashi suggests that one of the reasons that God commands us to count ourselves is because it is an opportunity for...Read more...

Pre-Shabbos Messages from the OSTNS Clergy

04/03/2020 03:29:12 PM

Apr3

April 3, 2020

Dear Ohev Sholom Community,

It is hard to believe that we are reaching the end of the third week of our new reality. Some of us may feRead more...

OSTNS Virtual Learning & Minyanim

03/16/2020 05:28:39 PM

Mar16

March 16, 2020



Dear Friends,
​​​​​​​
Please see below for links to our our virtual community. In the coming days we hope to add moreRead more...

OSTNS Virtual Learning & Minyanim

03/16/2020 04:59:09 PM

Mar16

March 16, 2020



Dear Friends,
​​​​​​​
Please see below for links to our our virtual community. In the coming days we hope to add moreRead more...

Message from Clergy

03/06/2020 10:05:19 AM

Mar6

March 6, 2020
10 Adar, 5780




We write to you on erev Shabbat to encourage everyone to take seriously the government’s guidelines with respect to Read more...

Where is Sinai?  | Mishpatim,   5780

02/24/2020 10:15:18 AM

Feb24

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

 

This past week I had the opportunity to spend a few days in the Holy Land, Israel.

I had many memorable moments on this visit but for me one of the most precious was the ability to spend time studying Torah with our son as he spends a year in Yeshivat Oraita, a wonderful yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem. I attended Torah classes and had the pleasure of attending a Thursday night parsha class which began with...Read more...

Responding to Antisemtism  | Shemot, 5780 

01/21/2020 02:48:55 PM

Jan21

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

 

On January 27, world leaders will gather to mark the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’ liberation. They will gather in a world with growing antisemitism. We see this from the right and left; different races and nationalities; from fringes and even elected officials; from the uneducated and even in elite schools; in national stories and sadly in our day-to-day lives.

This week I met with teens from our...Read more...

Making Angels | Vayishlach, 5780

12/17/2019 11:23:10 AM

Dec17

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

I would like to encourage everyone to join with me in attending a memorial service on Friday December 20, at the New York Ave Presbyterian Church.  This memorial service is an annual event held on the date closest to the Winter Solstice and its purpose is to honor and remember those who died during the year without the dignity of living in a home.

Typically I do not enter into houses of worship of other faiths...Read more...

Toldot 5780

12/03/2019 01:09:41 PM

Dec3

Maharat Ruth Friedman

Last week Elishva Appelbaum taught a great Netziv on this week’s parsha that I want to revisit. He asks why Rivkah is afraid of Yitzchak, as evidenced by her reaction to him the first time that she seems him. This is much different than the dynamic of the marriages of Avraham his father, and Yaakov his son; only Yitzchak’s wife is afraid of him. The Netziv answers that Rikvah had to be afraid of Yitzchak to ensure that...Read more...

Vayera 5780 - Hashem, Wait a Sec, I Got Something More Important To Do...

11/19/2019 03:00:44 PM

Nov19

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

This Shabbat our congregation hosts Reb Shadrach Halevi Mugoya, an inspiring man who is the spiritual leader of the Jewish community of Namutumba, a 400 person community made up of Abayudaya Jews  in Eastern Uganda.

Reb Shadrach was telling me before Shabbat how his village is in need of basic resources to live.  Two years ago there was a famine and as a result people in his village died from the famine.  There is no...Read more...

Sukkot 5780 - Go the Extra Mile

10/16/2019 03:41:49 PM

Oct16

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

So, let’s be real, why are we waving a Lulav and Etrog in the air?  

Truthfully, I have always loved the ritual of arbah minim and I look forward to it with great excitement every year.  It has never bothered me at all or felt strange, but I know that not everyone feels the same way.  Some people in this room have told me that it strikes them as weird and makes them slightly uncomfortable to pick up fruits and...Read more...

Yom Kippur 5780 - Daring Greatly: The Role of Shame and Guilt in the Avodah

10/10/2019 04:10:15 PM

Oct10

Maharat Ruth Friedman

As a child and young adult I struggled with the High Holiday liturgy. First, a strong rebellious streak made me resentful of authority, so the high holidays and I were like oil and water. On the three days a year that I was non-negotiably present in shul I found myself growing increasingly annoyed at having to be there. I silently rolled my eyes at unetaneh tokef - do we REALLY believe that God decrees who lives and who dies? No one can...Read more...

Yom Kippur 5780 - DC Kosher

10/10/2019 01:22:13 PM

Oct10

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

I recently had an experience which helped me think differently about keeping kosher.  

I was invited to a well-known upscale restaurant called The Inn at Little Washington.  For what its worth it’s a Michelin Three Star restaurant, which of course means nothing to me as it's not a kosher restaurant.  Still, for very important reasons, I felt it was essential for me to attend.

The organizers insisted...Read more...

Rosh Hashanah 5780 - The Futility of Hope

10/03/2019 12:54:49 PM

Oct3

Maharat Ruth Friedman

"I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is." --- Greta Thunberg

This past June I completed a two year fellowship for early and mid-career rabbis. The purpose of this fellowship was to help the participants take a step back from the nitty gritty day to day of...Read more...

Rosh Hashanah 5780 - A Day to Party

10/03/2019 12:52:57 PM

Oct3

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

Two weeks ago we celebrated our new Torah scroll with a hachnasas Sefer Torah, aka, a Torah parade.

At the parade a person was watching me celebrate and without realizing who my wife was, she approached my wife and told her, “That man always looks happy, but this is the happiest I have ever seen him.”

Indeed, aside from some amazing life moments, like my wedding, births and b’nai mitzvah of our children, I don’t...Read more...

Ki Tetzei 5779 - Searching for our Spark

09/16/2019 10:45:30 AM

Sep16

Rabbi Herzfeld

“Ki tetzei la milchma al oyevekhah, when one goes into battle with our enemies” (Devarim 21:10).

The baalei mussar explain that this does not only refer to a physical enemy on a battlefield, but that life is a constant struggle with our internal enemies.

The greatest enemy is not the enemy from without, but the yetzer harah that is constantly trying to lead us astray by distracting us and causing us to focus on the wrong...Read more...

Bat Mitzvah Celebrations at Ohev Sholom

09/12/2019 04:45:11 PM

Sep12

Rabbi Herzfeld & Maharat Friedman

 

Ohev bat mitzvah celebrations are opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of girls who grew up in our community, and we know each work super hard for this day. Their commitment is inspiring. What a blessing to be celebrating with these girls and their families!
 
These bat mitzvah girls will all lead Women’s Tefillah services in the main Sanctuary on the morning of their bat mitzvah. Since we are...Read more...

Tisha B'Av 5779 - Stand Up from the Ground

08/13/2019 01:47:26 PM

Aug13

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

I got a message this week that the Torah scroll that I wrote is ready to be picked up.  After writing the Torah scroll, I brought it to an expert sofer in Brooklyn who added the crowns (tagin) to the letters, sewed the Torah together, and also, reviewed my work to catch any mistakes.  He put it through a computer scan three times and proofread it twice.  

He corrected 273 mistakes.  This could be a letter...Read more...

Shelach 5779 - What We Saw in Guatemala 

07/02/2019 01:44:58 PM

Jul2

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

Some of you might have noticed my new shoes.  I bought them in Pastores, a small village in Guatemala, which specializes in making shoes.  I bought them to support the local Guatemalan economy and also to remember our trip to Guatemala.  They are a conversation starter and I want people to ask about the shoes so that I can tell them about our very special experience in Guatemala.

In total there were 30 of us in our...Read more...

Misheberach List

06/26/2019 01:23:29 PM

Jun26

June 26, 2019



Dear Friends,



As you may know, Rabbi Herzfeld and I maintain a list of names of the members of our community, and the loved ones oRead more...

Bechukotai 5779 - A Private Moment on Our Front Door

06/04/2019 02:45:57 PM

Jun4

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld

So I recently finished writing a Torah scroll, and I delivered the Torah to an expert sofer in Brooklyn for finishing touches.  For me it was a big project in many ways, but having finished the Torah scroll, I turned my attention to writing mezuzot.

There are a few reasons why I want to write mezuzot.

First and foremost, it is a mitzvah.  It says in the Torah, “u-ketavtem al mezuzot beitekhah, and you shall write...Read more...

Thu, August 13 2020 23 Av 5780