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KD Daily - Shabbat Unrest

What a bewildering week. Now ten days after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protests continue throughout the country. We have seen a reawakening of energy and activism in the cause of antiracism and racial justice. Images of anger and violence flood our media, afflicting us and unavoidably coloring our view of the world.

Normally on a Friday, this where I say that Shabbat has arrived just in time for us to set aside our worries. Not this week.

This week we are called to be discomfited, even on Shabbat. (See below.) If we aren't unsettled and challenged by this moment, we clearly have not recognized the personal and societal transformation our Jewish values require.

At our Shabbat service tonight at 7:30pm, we will include voices and reflections to inspire us and help us see our place in the struggle against racism. Please join us at the Zoom link in your daily email.

This Shabbat, may we and all of our loved ones be healthy and safe.

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Noah


Torah for Today Rabbi Noah

"It is not permitted to fast, to entreat, or to plead asking mercy from heaven on Shabbat. Even those terrible times when a public fast would be decreed and the shofar blown, one does not fast or blow the shofar on Shabbat or on holidays. But if a city is besieged by a foreign force or endangered by a flood, or if a boat is threatened with capsizing at sea, then an exception is made and one sounds the alarm in order to help those who are in danger, and one prays and asks for mercy for them." — Maimonides (1135-1204 CE), Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Shabbat 30:7-8, 12

In general, our Shabbat prayers do not include any prayers of "asking"—on Shabbat, we even allow God to rest from our constant requests. In the law above, Maimonides points out that the prohibition of supplications on Shabbat applies even when situations are quite serious. Even when we would want to decree a fast day "to plead asking mercy from heaven" (which our ancestors did in dire circumstances), we are forbidden to do so on Shabbat.

However, this ruling has a limit. In situations of immediate life and death—when an enemy army approaches or a boat is about to capsize—Jews do what we must to preserve life, even on Shabbat. We are allowed to do physical work (like sounding an alarm), and we are allowed to pray for help.


The situation in our country is life and death, especially for Black Americans. So we are permitted and required to intervene through our actions and our prayers, even on Shabbat. Until the danger passes.

Ken yehi ratzon... May it be God's will that we may soon see the day when racist violence ceases and our Shabbat can go back to being fully a day of rest and peace.


Celebrate Shabbat

*LIVE* Candle Lighting and Shabbat Blessings

Friday, 6/5, 6:00pm

Check your daily email for meeting info.

*LIVE* Kol Dorot Shabbat Service

Friday, 6/5, 7:30pm

Check your daily email for meeting info.

Shabbat Morning Torah Study

Saturday, 6/6, 9:00-10:00am

Check your daily email for meeting info.

*LIVE* Havdallah with Rabbi David and Family

Saturday, 6/6, 8:00pm


In Case You Missed It

A full recording of Sunday's Congregational Meeting is now available online.


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