Wednesday, January 21, 2009

This Friday night, Zoo Minyan will be meeting again to welcome Shabbat with prayer, food, & song. What a fine way to finish this festive and joyous week in the political hothouse that is our home here in DC.

If you came last time (for the "inaugural" Fri night davening) welcome back! if you're already a Saturday Zoo Minyanite, come enjoy the "change" as we add Friday nights to our regular schedule. If you are new to Zoo Minyan, we "hope" you will join us.

The Details:

  • This Friday night, January 23rd
  • Shmoozing plus set-up: 5:30pm
  • Rockin' Kabbalat Shabbat -- 6pm sharp!
  • Followed by Ma'ariv, dinner, singing, drashing, more shmoozing....

ABOUT DINNER (it's not just a pot-luck!)

We will have main courses from Siena's! Kosher, lots of dairy plus at least one non-dairy option, all veggie, and all yummy! Vegetable lasagna, eggplant parmesan -- send in your requests (and vote for your favorite -- the poll on the left side of this site). 

For shabbat dinner, the community provides some hearty entrees. You

  1. Contribute to the kitty to help pay for the entree  AND / OR
  2. Bring a side dish, salad, drink, or desert as a dairy / veggie pot-
    luck contribution.

To contribute to the kitty, please go to:

Don't worry about whether your kitchen is kosher (or “kosher enough”), everyone gets to contribute. But please be prepared to explain what's in your dish, to help people avoid allergy or kashrut issues.

If you're worried about whether you'll be able to eat at Zoo Minyan, there is always a critical mass of pot-luck contributions with a heksher or cooked in someone's heksher-only kitchen. There are always hekshered challot and grape juice, plus the entree is hekshered. And you'll get to know people as you ask who brought which dish.

  • Questions? Ideas? Want to help? Write back to Shabbos is coming!

At the home of Deborah Hittleman Flank and Shalom Flank in Woodley Park. For address and directions, please write to

+++ A few things to expect (besides the unexpected)

** Creative rituals and Kavanot
For example: To add sweetness from the week to shabbat, we will pass around the kiddush cup during kabbalat shabbat. For each of the mizmorim (psalms, corresponding to each of the days of the week), a few people at a time will share something from their week to add to our overflowing cup of joy.

** Nigunim
Both soulful and spirited tunes, with lots of repetition and space to sink into the melodies. (Sometimes, you don't really start singing a good melody under you've been singing it for 20 minutes!)

** Nusach shivyoni
Davenning leaders will be using our photocopied siddurim with egalitarian language (see the Guide for the Perplexed).  Other siddurim will also be available, and everyone is welcome to
daven from their own siddur. Certain kinds of cacophony / pluralism create their own harmony.

** Raza d'Shabbat ("the mystery of shabbos")
Between Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma'ariv, where Nusach Sefard has a passage from the Zohar and Nusach Ashkenaz has a passage from the Mishnah, we will have a (three minute) drash. Drawing on the text of the tefillot (or parshat shavua or other relevant texts), we aim to provide kavannah for davenning and for our entry into shabbos.

+++ LOGISTICS -- Helping out:

  • Procure dinner entrees from Rockville
  • Helping to organize clean-up
  • Leading Kabbalat Shabbat
  • Raza d'Shabbat: Kavanah / Torah between Kabbalat Shabbat and
  • Ma'ariv
  • Leading Ma'ariv

    Write back to to help out!

    Shabbat Shalom.

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