Author Archives: Joy Breslauer


Brisket is not the same as Corned Beef!

If you are not Jewish, I cannot even begin to explain it to you.

This goes back 2 generations, 3 if you are over 50. It also explains why many Jewish men died in their early 60′s with a non-functional cardiovascular system and looked like today’s men at 89.

Before we start, there are some variations in ingredients because of the various types of Jewish taste (Polack, Litvack, Deutch and Gallicianer). Sephardic is for another time.

Just as we Jews have six seasons of the year (winter, spring, summer, autumn, the slack season, and the busy season), we all focus on a main ingredient which, unfortunately and undeservedly, has disappeared from our diet. I’m talking, of course, about SCHMALTZ (chicken fat).

SCHMALTZ has, for centuries, been the prime ingredient in almost every Jewish dish, and I feel it’s time to revive it to its rightful place in our homes. (I have plans to distribute it in a green glass Gucci bottle with a label clearly saying: “low fat, no cholesterol, Newman’s Choice, extra virgin SCHMALTZ.” (It can’t miss!) Then there are grebenes – pieces of chicken skin, deep fried in SCHMALTZ, onions and salt until crispy brown (Jewish bacon). This makes a great appetizer for the next cardiologist’s convention.

There’s also a nice chicken fricassee (stew) using the heart, gorgle (neck) pipick (gizzard – a great delicacy, given to the favorite child), a fleegle (wing) or two, some ayelech (little premature eggs) and other various chicken innards, in a broth of SCHMALTZ, water, paprika, etc. We also have knishes (filled dough) and the eternal question, “Will that be liver, beef or potatoes, or all three?”

Other time-tested favorites are kishkeh, and its poor cousin, helzel (chicken or goose neck). Kishkeh is the gut of the cow, bought by the foot at the Kosher butcher. It is turned inside out, scalded and scraped. One end is sewn up and a mixture of flour, SCHMALTZ, onions, eggs, salt, pepper, etc., is spooned into the open end and squished down until it is full. The other end is sewn and the whole thing is boiled. Often, after boiling, it is browned in the oven so the skin becomes crispy. Yummy!

My personal all-time favorite is watching my Zaida (grandpa) munch on boiled chicken feet.

For our next course we always had chicken soup with pieces of yellow-white, rubbery chicken skin floating in a greasy sea of lokshen (noodles), farfel (broken bits of matzah), tzibbeles (onions), mondlech (soup nuts), kneidlach (dumplings), kasha (groats), kliskelech and marech (marrow bones) . The main course, as I recall, was either boiled chicken, flanken, kackletten, hockfleish (chopped meat), and sometimes rib steaks, which were served either well done, burned or cremated. Occasionally we had barbecued liver done to a burned and hardened perfection in our own coal furnace.

Since we couldn’t have milk with our meat meals, beverages consisted of cheap soda (Kik, Dominion Dry, seltzer in the spritz bottles). In Philadelphia it was usually Franks Black Cherry Wishniak (vishnik).

Growing up Jewish

If you are Jewish, and grew up in city with a large Jewish population, the following will invoke heartfelt memories.

The Yiddish word for today is PULKES (PUHL-kees). Translation: THIGHS.
Please note: this word has been traced back to the language of one of the original Tribes of Israel , the Cellulites.

The only good advice that your Jewish mother gave you was: “Go! You might meet somebody!”

You grew up thinking it was normal for someone to shout “Are you okay?” through the bathroom door when you were in there longer than 3 minutes.

Your family dog responded to commands in Yiddish.

Every Saturday morning your father went to the neighbourhood deli (called an “appetitizing store”) for whitefish salad, whitefish “chubs”, lox (nova if you were rich!), herring, corned beef, roast beef, cole slaw, potato salad, a 1/2-dozen huge barrel pickles which you reached into the brine for, a dozen assorted bagels, cream cheese and rye bread (sliced while he waited). All of which would be strictly off-limits until Sunday morning.

Every Sunday afternoon was spent visiting your grandparents and/or other relatives.

You experienced the phenomenon of 50 people fitting into a 10-foot-wide dining room hitting each other with plastic plates trying to get to a deli tray.

You had at least one female relative who penciled on eyebrows which were always asymmetrical.

You thought pasta was stuff used exclusively for Kugel and kasha with bowties.

You were as tall as your grandmother by the age of seven.

You were as tall as your grandfather by age seven and a half.

You never knew anyone whose last name didn’t end in one of 5 standard suffixes (berg, baum, man, stein and witz).

You were surprised to discover that wine doesn’t always taste like cranberry sauce.

You can look at gefilte fish and not turn green.

When your mother smacked you really hard, she continued to make you feel bad for hurting her hand.

You can understand Yiddish but you can’t speak it.

You know how to pronounce numerous Yiddish words and use them correctly in context, yet you don’t know exactly what they mean.

You’re still angry at your parents for not speaking both Yiddish and English to you when you were a baby.

You have at least one ancestor who is somehow related to your spouse’s ancestor.

You thought speaking loud was normal.

You considered your Bar or Bat Mitzvah a “Get Out of Hebrew School Free” card.

You think eating half a jar of dill pickles is a wholesome snack.

You’re compelled to mention your grandmother’s “steel cannonballs” upon seeing fluffy matzo balls served at restaurants.

You buy 3 shopping bags worth of hot bagels on every trip to Stamford Hill or Edgware and carefully shlep them home like glassware. (Or, if you live near Chigwell, Manchester or another Jewish city hub, you drive 2 or 3 hours just to buy a dozen “real” bagels.) Western Bagel and Brent’s in the San Fernando Valley . Factor’s or Canter’s deli in West L.A.

Your mother or grandmother took personal pride when a Jew was noted for some accomplishment (showbiz, medicine, politics, etc.) and was ashamed and embarrassed when a Jew was accused of a crime as if they were relatives.

You thought only non-Jews went to sleep-away colleges. Jews went to city schools… unless they had scholarships or made an Ivy League school.

And finally, you knew that Sunday night and the night after any Jewish holiday was designated for Chinese food.

Zei gezunt!!

Original author unknown.

Submitted by Jerrold Weissman


EDITOR’S NOTE: From Ruz gulko.

It seems like so long since Yom Kippur, but I am still full of warm and
happy memories. I miss everyone and hope to get back there soon!

I thought I’d send along the sermon I might have done, from one I did deliver several years back on Y”K. Feel free to publish it in the Ram’s Horn, or not – I just thought it’d be nice to try to send along a teaching
of some kind each month as a little reminder and offering.

All the best,


“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Who hasn’t heard this schoolyard saying? Often offered by consoling adults to insulted children, it contains a literal truth but offers little comfort. All of us, I’m sure, can recall only too vividly the times, both as a child and as an adult, when someone’s words wounded us so deeply that just in remembering, we are flooded with intense pain, shame, and rage.

The Biblical Hebrew root for both “thing” and “word” is the same – Daled/Vet/Resh. Their common origin is extremely telling. Reading through the Torah, so many layers of meaning can emerge when we look at both understandings. The name of the fifth book of Torah, Deuteronomy in English, is D’vareem in Hebrew – does it mean Things or Words? We generally think of this book as the collection of Moshe’s farewell exhortations, his parting words. But we are, I believe, also to understand that with these words, we are to shape the things we do – our deeds. In the book of B’raisheet, Genesis, we read that God created the world by speaking. No pointing of divine digits or hurling of lightning bolts, but rather: “Let there be…. Let the sea/sky/earth bring forth…. “

We call the Ten Commandments in Hebrew “Aseret haDeebrot”- literally, the 10 Words, the 10 Sayings. How many of those 10 are about speech? There are at least two: swearing falsely by God’s name and speaking false testimony about someone. We can certainly agree that in honouring parents, speech is a large factor as well. In the morning liturgy we read: “Barukh ShehAmar…Blessed is the One who spoke, and the world came into existence.” In the brakhah for seeing a rainbow we remind ourselves that God is always faithful to God’s word.

“Sticks & stones…” God created the world by speaking, by naming things. What have you created with your words? What have you destroyed with your words? Here’s a sample:

I love you.
You suck.
I’m proud of you.
Thank you.
You make me sick.
I couldn’t have done it without you.
Get the hell away from me.
I’m sorry.
Let me help.
Putting on some weight, aren’t we, dear?
You’re the best mommy/daddy/friend in the whole world.

In my work with survivors of domestic violence, I hear over and over from these women that the constant verbal assault on their self-esteem left the deepest scars of all. Thank God, most of us are not dealing with this level of nightmare and humiliation in our lives. But all of us have been victims of hurtful speech, and all of us have hurt others with our words. My father admonished us often: “Taste your words!” It was great advice then, and continues to be, for me, the litmus test of most of what comes out of my mouth.

In the Talmud we learn that to embarrass or shame someone in public was practically as bad as killing them, for every time they remembered the “bushah”, the shame, they would feel like dying, or their soul would die a little bit. “Lashon HaRah” – evil language, or speech – literally, tongue – is one of the most harshly condemned sins in our tradition. Our Rabbis likened it to leprosy, and preached that the latter was a punishment for the former. They even caution us not to praise someone in a situation where someone hearing us would be tempted to counter the praise or say something nasty in response.

Our tradition teaches the importance of Kashrut – the ritual laws surrounding the proper way of eating, eating that which is kosher – fitting – and properly prepared. In Judaism, there is also a Kashrut of speech for us, watching just as carefully what comes out of our mouths as we do that which goes in.

“Sticks & stones….” What will you “break” with your words? What will you create with your words? As we humble ourselves before God on this holiest night of the year, offering our words of repentance and our promises to do better, let’s realize that it is to those created in the Divine Image that we really owe words of contrition, reassurance, and respect. I’m sorry. You’re right. I love you. This year, let’s be as fully present as possible, using our speech to light and to lighten each other’s way in an often frightening, painful world. Then our “devareem” – our words”, will flow righteously into our “devareem – the “things” we create. May we all create for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our communities, a world of justice, compassion, and shalom.


A little warmth as cold weather begins.
(Developed for fund raising purposes by the Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, but still stirring.)

Submitted by Brian Schnitzer


Please mark your calendars for the following upcoming events.

  • Friday evening, 11/21/2014: Shabbat services, led by Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg, 7:30 P.M. at The Bethel. Oneg to follow.
  • Saturday morning, 11/22/2014, 10:00 A.M.: Torah Study led by Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg at The Bethel.
  • Saturday afternoon, 11/22/2014, 5:30 P.M.: Milchig (dairy) potluck and adult discussion, led by Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg at the Bethel. Please bring a dairy dish to share.

The address of the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. click here for map and directions.


Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg and to provide the oneg:

  • Friday, 11/21/2014: Airport Pickup: Marty Foxman
  • Friday evening, 11/21/2014: Dinner with Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg: Stuart Lewin
  • Oneg: Wendy Weissman and Laura Weiss
  • Saturday, 11/22/2014, after Torah study, Lunch with Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg: Terry Thal

by the way, Miriam is now a vegetarian, so dairy is ok, but no fish.
She is also asking about the use of a car. Does anyone have something available for her to drive?

Contact Helen at 520-638-6180 asap.
Let Rabbi Miriam know we are glad to have her back.

Obituary – Rose Elizabeth Shaughnessy Gran – Havre Daily News


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
Rose Gran Oct 14, 2014 20 Tishrei, 5775
Leonard Weissman Nov 10, 2007 29 Cheshvan, 5768 Grandfather of David Weissman, father of Jeff Weissman, Patricia Philipps, Ted Weissman, Sally Weissman and Gale Rietmann.
Martin Renne Nov 14, 2000 16 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Michael Renne
Norman Handler Nov 20, 2000 22 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Wendy Weissman


We are confirmed for the annual Chanukah gathering with Chanukiah lighting on Thursday December 18 in Helena. Place and time: Capitol rotunda at noon. We have reserved the space from 11 am through 1 pm. More details forthcoming on the room for a MAJCO board meeting following the lighting.


An exhibition exploring the front lines in the “war of ideas” between democracy and fascism.
On May 10, 1933, university students across Nazi Germany burned thousands of books in an ominous “cleansing” of the “un-German spirit” from German culture. This exhibit explores how the book burnings became a potent symbol in America’s battle against Nazism and why they continue to resonate with the public today. Information:

October 26-December 17, 2014
The University of Montana Mansfield Library
32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT


The root causes of hatred and racism have not changed, but technology has advanced ways to disseminate hate speech and incitement to violence. Learn when hate speech crosses the line to “dangerous speech,” where such speech is a threat today, and what can be done to counter it without restricting freedom of expression. Register:

Wednesday, November 5, 7:00 p.m.
University of Montana, University Center Theater
32 Campus Drive, Missoula, MT


For those who can make it, Israeli peace activist, author, and columnist for the Jerusalem Post, Gershon Baskin, will be in Bozeman on the afternoon and evening of November 8, in Missoula on the afternoon of November 9, and in Jackson Hole on November 10. Gershon is probably best known for negotiating the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, which negotiations became the subject of a well-known book. We were able to bring him here through the partnership of the three communities.

The information about the Bozeman talks (one free and open to the public, one with dinner by RSVP) is at If there are those from other Montana Jewish communities that wish to attend, we can try to assist with housing. The information about the Missoula talk has been put up by Laurie on Har Shalom’s facebook page.


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