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Kids Corner

08/28/2020 10:42:40 AM


In this email you will find:
1. Stories on the Parasha from Rabbi Herzfeld
2. A Family Parasha Sheet from Maharat Friedman
3. Daf Yomi for kids (PDF

D'var Torah and (New) Kids Corner

08/21/2020 10:13:47 AM


In this email you will find:
1. A D'var Torah from Rabbi Herzfeld
2. Stories on the Parasha from Rabbi Herzfeld
3. A Family Parasha Sheet from Maha

 Message from our Clergy | Re’eh, 5780 |D'var Torah and (New) Kids Corner 

08/14/2020 11:26:14 AM


In this email you will find: 1. A D'var Torah from Rabbi Herzfeld2. Stories on the Parasha from Rabbi Herzfeld3. A Family Parasha Sheet from MRead more...

A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld | Ekev, 5780

08/07/2020 10:25:54 AM


August 7, 2020Please Make Space for MeEkev, 5780This week our congregation was able to gather in person and on zoom to listen and respond to theRead more...

A Message from Rabbi Herzfeld |Vaetchanan, 5780

07/31/2020 01:00:56 PM


July 31, 2020The Ultimate TzedakahVaetchanan, 5780The 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


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


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


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


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...

Message from our Clergy |Korach 5780

06/26/2020 10:04:25 AM


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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...

Making Angels | Vayishlach, 5780

12/17/2019 11:23:10 AM


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


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


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


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


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


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...

Rosh Hashanah 5780 - The Futility of Hope

10/03/2019 12:54:49 PM


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


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


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


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


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...

Mon, October 25 2021 19 Cheshvan 5782