Author Archives: Joy Breslauer



Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

  • Wednesday, 04/04-05/2015: Purim
  • Friday, 04/10/2015, 5:30 P.M.: Aitz Chaim Community Seder at the O’Haire. More details TBA.
  • Friday, 05/15-17/2015: Jewish week end with Ruz gulko. More details TBA.


I find this concept to be an important issue in American society. I hope you read it and enjoy it.
Submitted by Elliott Magalnick


By Ruz Gulko

“There are three partners to each human’s creation: mother, father, and God.” (Talmud)

The Hebrew word A D A M, human, has no plural. Why is that?
Each of us is unique, singular, never to be replicated, ONE:
Each of us is CREATED IN GOD’S IMAGE “B’tzelem Eloheem”

Our bodies are a GIFT, as are our minds and souls. To do anything to hurt or abuse any of these parts of us is not just a tragedy for us, but a sin against God and our families. Our parents, families and communities have put so much effort, faith and love into our general care, feeding, and education. We do not OWN these bodies all by ourselves – we have a responsibility to God and to our community to take good care of them.

So many of the laws that we are given in the Torah are about making sure that we lead as healthy and happy lives as possible, in a righteous, kind society.

A Jew is discouraged from living in a place without a synagogue or Jewish community, but forbidden to live where there is no doctor.

Any Shabbat law can be broken to save a life. Pikuah nefesh, saving of life, is THE foremost Jewish responsibility.

We are commanded to take good care of ourselves.

Today, how can YOU take good care of yourself?


From Rabbi Kalman Pacouz Aish HaTorah

GOOD MORNING! Death is a very sad part of life. In our tradition, we sit Shiva (“shiva” is the Hebrew word for “seven” referring to the seven days we mourn) for our seven closest relatives: father, mother, brother, sister, spouse, son or daughter.

Visiting a Shiva house can be a comfort to the mourners and a meaningful experience to the comforters — if done right. However, visiting a Shiva home can cause a person to be ill at ease if he doesn’t understand his role in the mourning process and doesn’t know the halacha (Jewish law) governing behavior at a Shiva home.

Mourning is a time to spiritually and psychologically come to terms with one’s loss. For seven days the mourner sits on a low chair or cushion, doesn’t leave the house, withdraws from the world around him. Why? Now is the time to cry, to remember the good times, to feel the loss. If a person doesn’t allow himself — or isn’t allowed — to focus on this, the pain remains longer and stronger and hampers the continuation of his own life.

Jewish law prescribes that when one enters the house of a mourner, he should sit silently until spoken to by the mourner — so that he will not intrude upon the mourner. Just being there is comforting. Sometimes there is no need for words. If the mourner engages you in conversation, it is important that the conversation should focus upon the deceased. It is a great kindness to ask questions which concretize memories and feelings: What was his outstanding character trait? What was one incident which encapsulates his life? What was his greatest impact upon you? This focuses the mourner and helps him to both grieve and integrate the impact the deceased had on his life.

People are uncomfortable at the home of a mourner because they are unclear of what function they should serve. That is why people mistakenly try to change the subject and avoid talking about the deceased. What is intended as a kindness ends up as a disservice. Remember that a Shiva house is not a party.

Recently, I visited a Shiva house and picked up a guide sheet of two pages by L. Muschel of “Do’s and Don’ts.” I think they are helpful, though to some they may seem obvious. Here are excerpts and some of my own (which incorporate some of the points mentioned above):

DO’s at a Shiva Home

1. Do sit quietly until spoken to by the mourner. Your presence is often enough. It is up to the mourner if he or she wishes to talk.
2. Do focus the conversation on the deceased and ask questions about a) the greatest time they had together b) the most important lesson learned from the deceased c) what character traits the mourner admired most about the deceased d) the nicest thing the deceased ever did e) the most meaningful thing the deceased ever did.
3. Share meaningful stories of what the deceased did for you and share what the deceased meant to you.
4. Do respect the time — stay a short time and not too late.

DON’T’s at a Shiva Home

1. Don’t ask how old the deceased was. It really doesn’t matter. If he or she was elderly you imply that it was not painful to the mourners.
2. Do not ask if he knew that he was ill and dying. It’s irrelevant and hurtful.
3. Do not use the Shiva visit as a self-therapy session to discuss your own loss of a relative.
4. Do not socialize with other people in front of the mourners or direct the conversation away from the deceased.
5. Do not say, “He had a long life.” It is never long enough.
6. Do not say, “Is there anything I can do?” If you can do it, just do it. Stay in touch after the mourning period.

If you want to learn more on how to deal with death and help your fellow human being who is grieving, read The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning by Rabbi Maurice Lamm. If you want a book to give the mourner to help him or her, I highly recommend (and give it myself), Remember My Soul by Rabbi Yaakov and Lori Palatnik. Both are available from your local Jewish book store or by calling toll-free 877-758-3242.

Submitted by Jerry Weissman


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 Yahrzeit list is maintained by the Ram’s Horn. Please send any corrections or additions to

May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Dr. Charles (Chuck) Astrin Jan 29, 2015 17 Sh’vat, 5775
Rose Gran Oct 14, 2014 20 Tishrei, 5775
Kikki Schandelson Feb 1, 1979 4 Sh’vat, 5739 Stepmother of Arnold Schandelson
Diane Magalnick Feb 2, 2002 20 Sh’vat, 5762 wife of Elliot Magalnick
Joel Eisenberg Feb 3, 1982 10 Sh’vat, 5742 brother of Sharon Eisenberg
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”
Feb 22, 1968 23 Sh’vat, 5728 Husband of Arlyne Reichert
Elizabeth Orphal Feb 27, 2009 3 Adar, 5769 Grandmother of Karen Semple The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction (9780814340554): Avinoam J. Patt, Mark Shechner, Victoria

From Marjorie Feldman: the book has been released…With My painting on the cover.


Dr. Charles (Chuck) Astrin died January 29 at home in his sleep, about a year after his wife Judy had died. If there is more in the Tribune, we will refer you to it.


Things we Learned in Hebrew School:
1. The High Holidays have absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.
2. Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
3. No meal is complete without leftovers .
4. According to Jewish dietary law, pork and shellfish may be eaten only in Chinese restaurants.
5. A shmata is a dress that your husband’s ex is wearing.
6. Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.
7. Never take a front row seat at a Bris.
8. Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?
9. Never leave a restaurant empty handed.
10. Spring ahead; fall back; winters in Boca.
11. Gentiles leave and never say good-bye; Jews say good-bye and never leave.
12. Always whisper the names of diseases.
13. If it tastes good, it’s probably not Kosher.
14. The important Jewish holidays are the ones on which alternate side of the street parking is suspended.
15. Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?
16. If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. If you can afford it, make sure to tell everybody what you paid.
17. Laugh now, but one day you’ll be driving a Lexus and eating dinner at 4:00 PM in Florida.

Signs on Synagogue Bulletin Boards:
Under the same management for over 5,774 years.
Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case.
What part of “Thou shalt not” don’t you understand?

Sign over the urinal in a bathroom at Hebrew University:
“The future of the Jewish people is in your hands.”

More Jewish Stuff:
1. My mother is a typical Jewish mother. Once she was on jury duty. They sent her home. She insisted SHE was guilty.
2. Any time a person goes into a delicatessen and orders pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies.
3. It was mealtime during a flight on El Al.
“Would you like dinner?” the flight attendant asked Moshe, seated in front. “What are my choices? “Moshe asked. “Yes or no,” she replied.
4. An elderly Jewish man is knocked down by a car and is brought to the local hospital. A pretty nurse tucks him into bed and says, “Mr. Gevarter, are you comfortable?” Gevarter replies, “I make a living….”
5. A rabbi was opening his mail one morning. Taking a single sheet of paper from an envelope he found written on it only one word: “shmuck.” At the next Friday night service, the Rabbi announced, “I have known many people who have written letters and forgot to sign their names, but this week I received a letter from someone who signed his name…and forgot to write a letter.”
6. Three Jewish women get together for lunch. As they are being seated in the restaurant, one takes a deep breath and gives a long, slow “oy.” The second takes a deep breath as well and lets out a long, slow “oy.” The third takes a deep breath and says impatiently, “Girls, I thought we agreed that we weren’t going to talk about our children.”
7. And one final favorite: A waiter comes over to a table full of Jewish women and asks, “Is anything alright?

Submitted by Helen cherry


To the Congregation of Aitz Chaim

As many of you know, Mark and I have recently relocated to Fayetteville, N.C.

Our 6 years in Great Falls has been wonderful, but now it is time to move on and be closer to family on the East coast. Mark has accepted a position at Fayetteville Technical Community College as an instructor and Dept. Head of the Paralegal program at the school.

From the beginning, meeting all of you and being part of the Jewish community was one of the best parts of living in Great Falls. We will certainly miss your friendship and our participation in functions and services at Aitz Chiam. You have welcomed us into your community and lives, and you have opened your homes to us with your hospitality. You will always be near and dear to us. We would welcome hearing from you from time to time if you care to share any news with us.

I’m hoping to join and/or participate in the local Synagogue. We will be fortunate, indeed, if we find another group of people who will be as inviting into their community as you have been.

With our very best wishes to all of you.

Ann and Mark Grobosky


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