YAHRZEITS — FEBRUARY, 2016, SHEVAT-ADAR I, 5776

RAM’S HORN POLICY FOR LISTING YAHRZEIT MEMORIALS:!
Yahrzeit memorials are listed by consecutive Gregorian month, date, and year, if known, or at the beginning of the list for one calendar year following the date of passing.

Compiled by Aitz Chaim over many years, this list is maintained by the Ram’s Horn. Please send any corrections or additions to editor@aitzchaim.com
May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
Deceased
English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Congregant
Dr. Irving “Chick” Waltman Jan 5, 2016 24 Tevet, 5766 Father of Marjorie Feldman
Beverly Tatz Dec 8, 2015 26 Kislev, 5776 Mother of Janet Tatz
Kikki Schandelson Feb 1, 1979 4 Sh’vat, 5739 Stepmother of Arnold Schandelson
Joel Eisenberg Feb 3, 1982 10 Sh’vat, 5742 brother of Sharon Eisenberg
Diane Magalnick Feb 5, 2002 23 Sh’vat, 5762 wife of Elliot Magalnick
Jack Barrett Feb 6, 2006 8 Sh’vat, 5766 Uncle of Nadyne Weissman
Judith Lenore Astrin Feb 15, 2014 15 Adar I, 5774
Harold “Rick” Reichert Feb 22, 1968 23 Sh’vat, 5728 Husband of Arlyne Reichert
Elizabeth Orphal Feb 27, 2009 3 Adar, 5769 Grandmother of Karen Semple

PRESENTATION AT CBA

Congregation Beth Aaron is sponsoring a presentation by Mr. Gregg Roman on “The U.S., Israel, and the Ever-Changing Middle East.”
The presentation will take place at CBA, 2031 Broadwater Avenue, on Monday, February 8, at 7:00 PM. It is admission-free, and is open to CBA members, friends, and the community at large. A reception will follow the presentation.

Gregg Roman is the Director and Chief Operations Officer for the Middle East Forum, based in Philadelphia. Mr. Roman previously served as director of the Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. In 2014, he was named one of the 10 most inspiring global Jewish leaders by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He previously served as the political adviser to the Deputy Foreign Minister of the State of Israel and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Mr. Roman has spoken to venues around the world about the Middle East and often appears on television and in print. He attended the American University in Washington, DC, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, where he studied national security studies and political communications.

Please mark your calendar for his special presentation. We hope to see you on Monday, February 8, at 7:00 PM. If you know of anyone who might be interested in coming, please let him/her know. Thanks.

Contributed by Uri Barnea

TO THANK BEFORE WE THINK

TO THANK BEFORE WE THINK
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks Parshaht Yitro

The Ten Commandments are the most famous religious-and-moral code in history. Until recently they adorned American courtrooms. They still adorn most synagogue arks. Rembrandt gave them their classic artistic expression in his portrait of Moses, about to break the tablets on seeing the golden calf. John Rogers Herbert’s massive painting of Moses bringing down the tablets of law dominates the main committee room of the House of Lords. The twin tablets with their ten commands are the enduring symbol of eternal law under the sovereignty of God.

It is worth remembering, of course, that the “ten commandments” are not Ten Commandments. The Torah calls them aseret hadevarim (Ex. 34:28), and tradition terms them aseret hadibrot, meaning the “ten words” or “ten utterances”. We can understand this better in the light of documentary discoveries in the twentieth century, especially Hittite covenants or “suzerainty treaties” dating back to 1400-1200 BCE, that is, around the time of Moses and the exodus. These treaties often contained a twofold statement of the laws laid down in the treaty, first in general outline, then in specific detail. That is precisely the relationship between the “ten utterances” and the detailed commands of parshat Mishpatim (Ex. 22-23). The former are the general outline, the basic principles of the law.

Usually they are portrayed, graphically and substantively, as two sets of five, the first dealing with relationships between us and God (including honouring our parents since they like God brought us into being), the second with the relations between us and our fellow humans.

However, it also makes sense to see them as three groups of three. The first three (one God, no other God, do not take God’s name in vain) are about God, the Author and Authority of the laws. The second set (keep Shabbat, honour parents, do not murder) are about createdness. Shabbat reminds us of the birth of the universe. Our parents brought us into being. Murder is forbidden because we are all created in God’s image (Gen. 9:6). The third three (don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t bear false witness) are about the basic institutions of society: the sanctity of marriage, the integrity of private property, and the administration of justice. Lose any of these and freedom begins to crumble.

This structure serves to emphasise what a strange command the tenth is: “Do not be envious of your neighbour’s house. Do not be envious of your neighbour’s wife, his slave, his maid, his ox, his donkey, or anything else that is your neighbour’s.” At least on the surface this is different from all the other rules, which involve speech or action.[1] Envy, covetousness, desiring what someone else has, is an emotion, not a thought, a word or a deed. And surely we can’t help our emotions. They used to be called the “passions”, precisely because we are passive in relation to them. So how can envy be forbidden at all? Surely it only makes sense to command or forbid matters that are within our control. In any case, why should the occasional spasm of envy matter if it does not lead to anything harmful to other people?

Here, it seems to me, the Torah is conveying a series of fundamental truths we forget at our peril. First, as we have been reminded by cognitive behavioural therapy, what we believe affects what we feel.[2] Narcissists, for instance, are quick to take offence because they think other people are talking about or “dissing” (disrespecting) them, whereas often other people aren’t interested in us at all. Their belief is false, but that does not stop them feeling angry and resentful.

Second, envy is one of the prime drivers of violence in society. It is what led Iago to mislead Othello with tragic consequences. Closer to home it is what led Cain to murder Abel. It is what led Abraham and then Isaac to fear for their lives when famine forced them temporarily to leave home. They believe that, married as they are to attractive women, the local ruler will kill them so that they can take their wives into their harem.

Most poignantly, envy lay at the heart of the hatred of the brothers for Joseph. They resented his special treatment at the hands of their father, the richly embroidered cloak he wore, and his dreams of becoming the ruler of them all. That is what led them to contemplate killing him and eventually to sell him as a slave.

Rene Girard, in his classic Violence and the Sacred, says that the most basic cause of violence is mimetic desire, that is, the desire to have what someone else has, which is ultimately the desire to be what someone else is. Envy can lead to breaking many of the other commands: it can move people to adultery, theft, false testimony and even murder.[3]

Jews have especial reason to fear envy. It surely played a part in the existence of anti-semitism throughout the centuries. Non-Jews envied Jews their ability to prosper in adversity – the strange phenomenon we noted in parshat Shemot that “the more they afflicted them the more they grew and the more they spread.” They also and especially envied them their sense of chosenness (despite the fact that virtually every other nation in history has seen itself as chosen[4]). It is absolutely essential that we, as Jews, should conduct ourselves with an extra measure of humility and modesty.

So the prohibition of envy is not odd at all. It is the most basic force undermining the social harmony and order that are the aim of the Ten Commandments as a whole. Not only though do they forbid it; they also help us rise above it. It is precisely the first three commands, reminding us of God’s presence in history and our lives, and the second three, reminding us of our createdness, that help us rise above envy.

We are here because God wanted us to be. We have what God wanted us to have. Why then should we seek what others have? If what matters most in our lives is how we appear in the eyes of God, why should we want anything else merely because someone else has it? It is when we stop defining ourselves in relation to God and start defining ourselves in relation to other people that competition, strife, covetousness and envy enter our minds, and they lead only to unhappiness.

If your new car makes me envious, I may be motivated to buy a more expensive model that I never needed in the first place, which will give me satisfaction for a few days until I discover another neighbour who has an even more costly vehicle, and so it goes. Should I succeed in satisfying my own envy, I will do so only at the cost of provoking yours, in a cycle of conspicuous consumption that has no natural end. Hence the bumper sticker: “He who has the most toys when he dies, wins.” The operative word here is “toys”, for this is the ethic of the kindergarten, and it should have no place in a mature life.

The antidote to envy is gratitude. “Who is rich?” asked Ben Zoma, and replied, “One who rejoices in what he has.” There is a beautiful Jewish practice that, done daily, is life-transforming. The first words we say on waking are Modeh ani lefanekha, “I thank you, living and eternal King.” We thank before we think.

Judaism is gratitude with attitude. Cured of letting other people’s happiness diminish our own, we release a wave of positive energy allowing us to celebrate what we have instead of thinking about what other people have, and to be what we are instead of wanting to be what we are not.

—————————–

[1] To be sure, Maimonides held that the first command is to believe in God. Nachmanides, however, disagreed and maintained that the verse, “I am the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt” is not a command but a prelude to the commands.

[2] This has long been part of Jewish thought. It is at the heart of Chabad philosophy as set out in R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi’s masterpiece, Tanya. Likewise Ibn Ezra in his commentary to this verse says that we only covet what we feel to be within our reach. We do not envy those we know we could never become.

[3] The classic work is Helmut Schoeck, Envy: a Theory of Social Behaviour, New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969. See also Joseph Epstein, Envy, New York: New York Public Library, 2003.

[4] See on this Anthony Smith, Chosen Peoples, Oxford University Press, 2003.

Submitted by Rabbi Ruz Gulko

D’VAR TORAH SHABBAT B’SHALLAH

D’var Torah Shabbat B’Shallah Jan. 25, 1997 Ruz Gulko

From out of B’Shallah, the Song, Shiraht HaYahm, calls to us. Ancient, bold, majestic – it leaps off the Torah parchment, telling in poetry the climactic episode of our deliverance from slavery. It is a story as vivid and dramatic as that of Sinai, as mystical and mysterious as Creation itself.

The Shirah held an important place in the Temple’s service, and then in the Siddur’s. It contains one of our oldest liturgical fragments, Mi Hamoha, and its response;” YHVH yimlokh l’olam va’ed.”

The siblings Miryam and Moshe play the leading roles here in, as Cantor Jeff Klepper calls it:

”…this grand opera of history, fantasy and faith. It is Moses’ voice that begins the song and it is Miriam’s that ends it, but it is their finest moment as a duo. Miriam is so much more than a cheerleader after Moshe’s song. Just as she helped save his life at another body of water, again she supports Moshe as only a sibling can. Yes, Moshe writes and presents the script, words and music, but it is Miriam who adds movement, rhythm and colour to the work of art. Ever the free spirit, it is she who takes the liturgical text to the next level, as her right brain creativity offers a perfect counterpart to Moshe’s left-brain logic. But her contribution is under-appreciated in the text.”

In fact, how many times do you think Miryam’s name is written in the whole book of Shemot? Only twice! And both times are in two consecutive sentences, here in Ch. 15, verses 20 & 21. Everywhere else she is “his sister” or “the maiden”. And when the family’s genealogy and names are presented in Ch. 6, Miryam is not even mentioned.

And yet we know Miryam is a Ne’viah, a prophetess. In verse 20 we read:” And Miryam, the prophetess, the sister of Aharon, took a timbrel in her hand…” Why is she only identified here as the sister of Aharon, and not also as the sister of Moshe, the central human figure of the whole story? Because, the Midrash teaches, it was as a young child, before Moshe was born, that Miryam’s gift of Ne’vi’ut, prophecy, was established. Their father, Amram, had divorced their mother Yoheved, advising all Israelite men to do the same, as a disheartened response to Pharoah’s murderous degree against all newborn sons. Miryam rebuked her father, accusing him of condemning to death all Jewish babies by leaving them unborn, and of losing faith. “And Miryam prophesied: ‘My mother is destined to give birth to a son who will save Israel’, and when the house was flooded with light at the birth of Moshe, her father arose and kissed her head and said:’ My daughter, thy prophecy has been fulfilled.’” (Midrash Rabbah). And yet, only a single verse of Miryam’s song at the Sea was recorded in the Torah, and even that is a direct quote from her brother’s song. The scholar Ellen Frankel asks: “Is it possible that this imbalance reflects later editing, and not Miriam’s second-class status in her own time? Some of us believe that Miriam’s song was censored or lost, due to a later generation’s uneasiness with female leadership.”

In ancient Near Eastern cultures, women frequently sang battle songs, and there is compelling evidence in clay from ancient Mediterranean cultures of a widespread women’s performance tradition, usually involving the three arts of song, drum, and dance. Clearly, women’s participation and leadership in these arts were an established, honoured tradition in our history.

We are indeed blessed to be the descendants of a woman like Miryam. Those of us gathered here today are free to lift our voices in prayer and in song, free to wrap ourselves in fringed garments, and free to read the Torah on behalf of the assembled congregation. We know that this was not always so. We owe an enormous gratitude to those courageous women who came before us, and stepped forward to claim for themselves and for us our rightful place as full and equal participants in all aspects of Jewish life.

The Baal Shem Tov teaches: “The dances of the Jews before the Creator are prayers.” And may our voices continue to soar with all women and all men who come before God with open hearts to pour out their hearts in prayer. Ken Y’hee Ratzon! Shabbat Shalom!

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THIS SPECIAL EVENT: THE U.S., ISRAEL, AND THE EVER CHANGING MIDDLE EAST

Congregation Beth Aaron is sponsoring a presentation by Mr. Gregg Roman on “The U.S., Israel, and the Ever-Changing Middle East.”

The presentation will take place at CBA, 2031 Broadwater Avenue, on Monday, February 8, at 7:00 PM. It is admission-free, and is open to CBA members, friends, and the community at large. A reception will follow the presentation.

Gregg Roman is the Director and Chief Operations Officer for the Middle East Forum, based in Philadelphia. Mr. Roman previously served as director of the Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. In 2014, he was named one of the 10 most inspiring global Jewish leaders by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. He previously served as the political adviser to the Deputy Foreign Minister of the State of Israel and worked for the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Mr. Roman has spoken to venues around the world about the Middle East and often appears on television and in print. He attended the American University in Washington, DC, and the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, where he studied national security studies and political communications.

We hope to see you on Monday, February 8, at 7:00 PM.

a wonderful legacy

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the obituary for Marjorie Feldman’s father, who passed away on January 5 at the age of one hundred. A former congregant of Aitz Chaim, Marjorie now lives in Roseberg, Oregon, with her husband Howard, a physician. Many of us remember them both fondly from their time here. Our condolences to Marjorie and her family. What a wonderful legacy her father has left to her and the rest of the world.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant/obituary.aspx?pid=177230800

YAHRZEITS — JANUARY, 2016, TEVET-SHEVAT, 5776

RAM’S HORN POLICY FOR LISTING YAHRZEIT MEMORIALS:!
Yahrzeit memorials are listed by consecutive Gregorian month, date, and year, if known, or at the beginning of the list for one calendar year following the date of passing.

Compiled by Aitz Chaim over many years, this list is maintained by the Ram’s Horn. Please send any corrections or additions to editor@aitzchaim.com
May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
Deceased
English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Congregant
Beverly Tatz Dec 8, 2015 26 Kislev, 5776 Mother of Janet Tatz
Sarah Barrett Jan 1, 1968 30 Kislev, 5728 Grandmother of Nadyne Weissman
Gene Charnes Jan 1, 2003 27 Tevet, 5763 father of Joe Charnes
Cynthia Boyd Jan 10, 2009 14 Tevet, 5769 Mother of Stephen Boyd
Emma Betteti Jan 11, 1994 28 Tevet, 5754 Aunt of Meriam Nagel
Alexander Fischer Jan 13, 1983 28 Tevet, 5743 Father of Robert Fischer
Daniel E. Fischer Jan 18, 2004 24 Tevet, 5764 Brother of Robert Fischer
Bess Cherry Jan 23, 1995 22 Sh’vat, 5755 Mother of Don Cherry
Edith Wasserman Jan 24, 1992 19 Sh’vat, 5752 Mother of Miriam Wolf
Perle Weissman Jan 26, 2008 19 Sh’vat, 5768 Mother of Jerry Weissman
Dorothy Barer Jan 26, 2009 1 Sh’vat, 5769 Mother of Michael Barer
Alfred Breslauer Jan 27, 1971 1 Sh’vat, 5731 Father of Bruce Breslauer
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Astrin Jan 29, 2015 17 Sh’vat, 5775
Fanny Litvin Jan 30, 1991 15 Sh’vat, 5751 Aunt of Donald Nyman

GFIA MEETING MINUTES — DECEMBER, 2015 — TEVET, 5776

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is taken from the December 3, 2015, minutes of the Great Falls Interfaith Association, submitted by Stephen Boyd.

Those present:
Pastor Ray Larson, Benefis Health care
Stephen Boyd, GF Hebrew Association
Jim Kizer, Great Falls Rescue Mission
Marla Wilkins, 1st Presbyterian Church
Chastity Roofner, Opportunities, Inc.
Dusti Zimmer, Center for Mental Health
Pastor Andre Murphy, Living Grace Church
Lt. Andrea Reedy, Salvation Army
Michael Key, Kairos Youth Services
Cherrie Kelly, Opportunities Inc.
Mark Jones, Northwest Family Fellowship
Jackie Sloak, CMR Food Pantry
Pastor Natalie Faltin, St. John’s Lutheran Church
Joshua Trosper, Northwest Family Fellowship
Rebecca Cloutier, Alliance for Youth
Chris Crooks, Church of Christ
Kristie Stroop, Alliance for Youth
Lee Barrows, New City Church
Sharon Odden, Family Promise
Anna Merritt, Our Saviors Lutheran Church
Laurie Jungling, Redeemer Lutheran Church

Focus: Middle, Secondary Schools & General Youth Assistance

Jackie – CMR Food Pantry – 19 Schools in Great Falls have food pantries, with the 5 middle and high schools having the largest. 912 students being served, 7,000 lbs. of food per month. 200
boxes distributed each holiday from just the five largest pantries. More than 4,000 kids in Cascade county are classified as “food insecure”. The city-wide needs seem to be increasing every year. Kids “shop” the food pantries every week. They get what they want instead of a box of food they may not use. Holiday food is distributed in pre-made boxes. There is supervision, they have to take vegetables as well as cake mixes. Funded by the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation. They don’t limit families from “shopping” every week. The whole family can be fed through the school program. It’s a city, county, and state problem.

Good ways to help include shopping for the food, distributing the food, and paperwork. There is also a constant need to replenish the Great Falls Food Bank. Food donations directly to the schools are very needed.

Church Partnerships: Andre – Calling the school principals and checking in helps a lot. Not just food, sometimes they need clothes, long pants, underwear, socks, gloves, it all helps.

Lee – They provided lunch for the kids in Lewis and Clark who couldn’t afford lunch.

Dusti – Youth Crisis – Been working on Youth Crisis for 3 years. Trying to keep kids at home, with their families, and helping the whole family as a unit. The crisis home is designed as the place they can go before getting institutionalized. The goal being to keep kids close to home in their own communities. The Youth Crisis home is now complete at 625 Central Ave. West. It’s an old renovated hotel. The top floor and basement was given to Dusti, and through a grant, they were able to transform it into a livable space. The Optimist group provided the furniture, lighting, etc… It is being licensed for ages 6-18. Younger youth on the West end, and older on the East end. They have hired a supervisor for the home, and are in the process of hiring group home workers – seven shifts available. You can apply on their web site, or at
http://montana.jobs/youth-crisis-group-home-worker/jobs-in/great-fall/montana/usa/jobs/assistantjobs/new-jobs/?sort=date
Before youth are admitted, they will have a full clinical exam to make sure they are appropriate for the home. Right now it’s grant funded, sustainability is very important, and will hopefully come in year two of the home’s operation. Right now, the closest similar place is in Helena. The most alarming statistic is that 82% of the first 108 kids they served were suicidal.

Kristie – Youth Mental Health – First Aid training is available for free to any church, school, or community organizations. Much like regular First Aid, but more training focused to identify and see the signs and symptoms related to Mental Health/Suicide Prevention. Amy this that “you don’t talk to a suicidal person about it for fear it would make it worse”. This is NOT the case, talking to them actually DOES help. People with mental health issues are more likely to wait for others to approach them to talk about it.
Sharon – Christmas party for the 16 families who have graduated from the Family Promise program, and are in need of gift cards so the parents can shop for their kids for Christmas.

Mike – Always in need of anything, donations gratefully accepted.

Jim – Last year the Rescue Mission shopped for 900 kids, We can help through the Ornament of Hope program, they need UNWRAPPED gifts by the 16th. They will have a giftwrapping party afterwards.

December is suicide month. This month is known as the season of hope, but if you don’t have a family to celebrate with, or are from a broken home, you don’t feel very hopeful. These people need help. Reach out to people in need, let them know that there IS hope!

Ray adjourned the meeting. See you all next year! Next meeting is January 28th at Benefis West.
Submitted by Stephen Boyd

HANUKKAH LIGHTS (NPR)

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/04/458032945/hanukkah-lights-2015

SOME SONGS WE MISSED

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/12/459351081/candlelight-coda-here-are-some-songs-we-missed-in-our-hanukkah-music-chat

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