Sof Services Move Online – No Physical Services 3/21, 3/28 and 4/4

Letter from Congregation Sof Ma’arav President Sandra Z. Armstrong

Aloha Everyone,

Sometimes we have to sit back and reflect on all the good that we have been given and all the good that we have been doing. This is one of those times. Siddur Sim Shalom in the Musaf Amidah for Shabbat says: “May your gift of Shabbat continue to bind us to You throughout all generations, teaching each of us that holiness can be a living presence in our lives. May we serve You purely, without thought of reward. May we be inspired by the spirit of Shabbat, as we praise You, G-d who hallows Shabbat.”

As the President of Congregation Sof Ma’arav and a proud member of this congregation, I am forever amazed at the amount of time and energy that goes into each and everyone of our beautiful Shabbat Saturday services. For during the week, starting Saturday night to Sunday and weekdays after, we are incredibly busy learning to read a Torah portion (sometimes for the first time ever), practicing a Haftarah, reviewing a lay leadership role in Shaharit, Torah service or Musaf. Many are practicing to go up to receive an aliyah on the bimah (again sometimes a first), planning what to bring to our lively onegs, baking delicious challah as both Peter and Arnie graciously do and prepping for hours with detailed messages out to the adult Biblical Hebrew classes, as Lorna does.

Robert and Rev Daniel are our Gabbaim keeping a meticulous eye on our service leadership. We remember others as we prepare our lists for the misheberakhs and say names of people we love who need our prayers, weekly reminders go out with yahrzeit notices as Morris faithfully does, shopping for oneg supplies as Jessie does, the weekly task of facilities manager opening/closing the building and putting microphones/lighting in place as Don does.

Others of us are preparing for incredible drashes (sometimes weeks ahead) as the Rabbinic drash Marc Flitter gave last Shabbat speaking of Hashem, the importance of Shabbat gatherings and the unfortunate circumstances of plagues/diseases. Naomi continues as our shammas giving out honors especially with kindness to our visitors that day.

We begin each Shabbat with either Torah study, a profoundly moving experience, or with Gregg in his Talmud class. Gregg shows us a glimpse into the minds of Rabbis 1000’s of years ago and he does it both with humor and expertise. On that note, how about Dina and Gregg announcing/emailing us each Shabbat, requesting everyone to respond to the line up of lay leyning and service leadership positions, as well as for our festival holidays, too. And then there are the children who walk out of the children’s class and light up the sanctuary as they approach the bimah with the Torah. And of course the Sof newsletter where Sid and Lynley pool all of us together in a wonderful version of who we are and who we are becoming. 

If I have gone on a long time, it is just the beginning of what Sof Ma’arav has been, is, and will continue to be. Sof is a place of intensely positive learning experiences for all of us every single week. For the congregants that I did not mention here, please forgive me, for the joyous task of putting a Sof Ma’arav service together is all consuming for so many of us and every one is equally important. 

So it is with responsibility and also a temporary bit of sadness that we will not be able to physically meet over the next 3 weeks 3/21, 3/28 and 4/4 until further information about the coronavirus is known to us.

In the meantime, the virtual schedule for services and classes appears here.

Stay safe and be well,

Sandra Z.


Upcoming Events

Virtual Torah and Talmud Study

Saturday mornings 9-9:50 Look for an announcement from Dina, Gregg, or Sid

Virtual Shabbat Service

Saturday mornings 10am-12 Noon. Look for an announcement from Dina or Sid

Hebrew Classes

Prayerbook Hebrew and Intermediate Parsha Classes are meeting at 12:45 after the online services. If you would like to join, please send a request to Lorna Holmes. She will send you a link to get into the class.

Sof Shabbat Morning Services –

You are invited to participate in Saturday morning Shabbat services through an interactive Zoom meeting. (This is NOT streaming video; it is an interactive “meeting room”.)

Join by a) digital device or b) by phone:

  1. a) Join the Zoom Meeting using your Mac, PC, laptop, I-pad, smartphone or other digital device by clicking on this link:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 878 179 114

Dial by your location

+1 253 215 8782 US

+1 301 715 8592 US

Meeting ID: 878 179 114

The Siddur Sim Shalom is available online from the Rabbinical Assembly.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Shabbat Times
  • The Royal Road to Relational Spirituality
    This is a 10 session course taught in 2019. Click here to purchase full course recordings. Click here for a free download of first session. Derekh HaMelekh— “The Royal Road”—is a collection of Shabbat and holiday teachings by Reb Kalanymous Kalman Shapira, who was the “Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto” as well as a major […]
  • Rising Above Isolation: The Piaseczner Rebbe’s Shavuot Torah of Connection
    Dates and Times: Tuesdays – May 12, May 19, May 267 – 8 pm EST Cost: Pay-what-you-can  Presenter: Rabbi Dr. Natan Margalit Description: We’ll learn together an amazing Shavuot Torah by Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapiro, the Piaseczner Rebbe, also known for being the Hasidic Rebbe in the Warsaw Ghetto during the horrific years of the Holocaust. In this Torah he explores […]