HOW TO CELEBRATE LAG BA’OMER

How to Celebrate Lag Ba’Omer, from My Jewish Learning

REFLECTING ON TIME, KAVOD V’NICHUM: END OF LIFE CONVERSATIONS AND THE JOURNEY OF GRIEF FOR LIMMUD NORTH AMERICA’S 49 STEPS PROJECT

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since we’re counting the Omer anyway, this seems to me to be a good time to take this deep dive into a subject we rarely talk about and seldom face until we or a loved one are living through it. I think this is worth the trip. Please take the time to click on and read each article, even if you do one once a day for each of the 49 days. Since I am late in finding and posting this, you’ll have to do some fast catching up. But I think it will be worth it.

Kavod v’Nichum Logo
This week, we’re thinking about the passage of time and reflecting on two moments in particular.

We’re remembering one million people in our communities whose lives were claimed by Covid-19 as we solemnly cross a tragic milestone this week in the United States. We hold them close and pray that their memories bring comfort and blessing.

This week also marked the halfway point of counting the Omer, the 49 days between the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. Kavod v’Nichum’s wrote on end-of-life conversations, the passage of time, and the journey of grief for Limmud North America’s 49 steps project.

Marking the days helps us to feel time in ways that we don’t normally stop to reflect on. Whether we are counting days toward joy or we are pausing to feel the weight of two and a half years, we allow ourselves to make sacred moments together.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom.
END OF LIFE CONVERSATIONS

CANCER AWARENESS: THE MONTANA JEWISH PROJECT

What’s Jewish about Breast and Ovarian Cancer?

Montana Jewish Project hosts a conversation with Sharsheret, Montana Cancer Coalition, and St. Peter’s Health Cancer Navigators about what Jewish communities should know about breast and ovarian cancer.

  • When: Thursday, May 19, 2022 12:00 PM Mountain Time
  • Where: zoom.
  • REGISTER HERE

    YAHRZEITS — IYYAR, 5782

    RAM’S HORN POLICY FOR LISTING YAHRZEIT MEMORIALS:
    Yahrzeit memorials are listed by consecutive Hebrew 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 may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.

    Name of Deceased Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to Congregant
    Don Cherry 25 KISLEV, 5782 HUSBAND OF HELEN CHERRY; FATHER OF STEVE, KAREN, AND DOUG CHERRY
    Rae Lind 6 Cheshvan, 5782 Wife of Michael Renne
    Diane Sherick 10 Elul, 5781 Wife of Jack Sherick, Mother of Michael Sherick and Heidi Cech
    Maurice Weissman 2 Iyyar, 5751 Father of Jerry, Irving, Toby Jane, Lauren, and Susan Weissman
    Marion Kelman 11 Iyyar, 5776 Sister-in-law of Evelyn Kelman
    Gary Ray Holsclaw 11 Iyyar, 5780 Son of Arleen Heintzelman
    Sheldon Maznek 12 Iyar, 5776 Brother of Evelyn Kelman
    Ada Handler 15 Iyyar, 5740 Grandmother of Wendy Weissman
    Florence (Flo) Barrett 19 Iyyar, 5756 Aunt of Nadyne Weissman
    Toby Jane Weissman 23 Iyyar, 5701 Daughter of Maurice and Perle Weissman; Sister of Jerry, Irving, Lauren, Susan Weissman
    Bessie Stiegler 27 Iyyar, 5758 Aunt of Nadyne Weissman
    Donald Goldman 29 Iyyar, 5778 Father of Abbee Drew, Grandfather of Ceecee Drew

    YAHRZEITS — MAY, 2022

    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 may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.

    Name of
    Deceased
    English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to Congregant
    Don Cherry NOV 29, 2021 25 KISLEV, 5782 HUSBAND OF HELEN CHERRY; FATHER OF STEVE, KAREN, AND DOUG CHERRY
    Rae Lind OCT 12, 2021 6 Cheshvan, 5782 Wife of Michael Renne
    Diane Sherick Aug 13, 2021 10 Elul, 5781 Wife of Jack Sherick, Mother of Michael Sherick and Heidi Cech
    Ada Handler May 1, 1980 15 Iyyar, 5740 Grandmother of Wendy Weissman
    Gary Ray Holsclaw May 5, 2020 11 Iyyar, 5780 Son of Arleen Heintzelman
    Florence (Flo) Barrett May 8, 1996 19 Iyyar, 5756 Aunt of Nadyne Weissman
    Donald Goldman May 14, 2018 29 Iyyar, 5778 Father of Abby Drew, Grandfather of Ceecee Drew
    Marion Kelman May 19, 2016 11 Iyyar, 5776 Sister-in-law of Evelyn Kelman
    Toby Jane Weissman May 20, 1941 23 Iyyar, 5701 Daughter of Maurice and Perle Weissman, Sister of Jerry, Irving, Lauren, and Susan Weissman
    Sheldon Maznek May 20, 2016 12 Iyar, 5776 Brother of Evelyn Kelman
    Bessie Stiegler May 23, 1998 27 Iyyar, 5758 Aunt of Nadyne Weissman
    Bette Weissman May 27, 2010 16 Sivan, 5770 Grandmother of David Weissman, mother of Jeff Weissman, Patricia Philipps, Ted Weissman, Sally Weissman and Gale Rietmann.

    Please MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THIS UPCOMING EVENT

    This is a reminder of the Kabbalat Shabbat service led by Devorah Werner on the first Friday of the month, May 6, 2022, 5 Iyyar, 5782, at 6:00 P.M. at the Bethel.

    As discussed and approved by the church council on June 8, 2021, all organizations that are using the facilities will be required to follow all the current use guidelines or any new guidelines adopted by the church council or as mandated by any federal, state or local government agency.

    Current guidelines include but are not limited to:

    • Masks will be voluntary and are recommended if persons are or have been ill, or if people are more comfortable wearing them.
    • Social Distancing would still be appreciated.
    • Food or beverages will be allowed upon request. Council will review requests.
    • All contact surfaces must be wiped down with a sanitization product before leaving.
    • Any additional expense incurred due to requirements for additional sanitization of the facilities, or part of, shall be paid by the responsible parties involved.

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

    Hope to see as many of you there as possible.

    YOM HASHOAH — APRIL 27-28, 2022, 27-28 NISAN, 5782

    Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom haShoah, begins on the evening of Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 27 Nisan, 5782, and ends on the evening of Thursday, April 28, 2022, 28 Nisan, 5782.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/04/22/a-proclamation-on-days-of-remembrance-of-victims-of-the-holocaust-2022/

    CONCERT IN TEL AVIV 2018

    Andre Reiu — full episode

    CHAG PESACH SAMEACH FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS!

    Israel Philharmonic Releases 2022 Passover Video

    DEAR SECULAR JEW, RABBI CHAIM BRUK, BOZEMAN

    Tonight, Jewry will usher in the eight-day Passover experience. It’s a holiday that commemorates the founding of our Jewish nation, so I feel compelled to write a letter to address the nature and soul of our people:

    April, 14, 2022
    13th of Nissan, 5782

    Dear “secular” Jew,

    I write this letter to you today, on the eve of Passover 5782, with the deep hope of conveying certain unspoken truths about our Jewish faith, discuss the nature of our people, and to demystify a few myths about your soul. I know that I am opening myself up to a longer conversation with many of you, but I cherish that, because it’s who we are, a people that argues and debates and comes out stronger on the other side, more informed, as we traverse this harsh exile and journey from challenge-to-challenge, en-route to redemption.

    Let me start with a clarification: I used the term “secular” in reference to you, a fellow Jew, only in quotations, employing the term that is commonly used “out there” and too often used by Jews about themselves. I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “secular” Jew. I looked up “secular” in the dictionary and found that it denotes “attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis: Contrasted with sacred.”. With this in mind, I find it to be impossible for a Jew to be secular, simply impossible. I don’t accept that a Jew, a descendent of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Rachel and Leah, can have no “spiritual basis”, or is the opposite of “sacred”. It is my firm belief that every one of us was gifted a Divine Soul, a natural, conscious or subconscious, bond with our Creator, connecting us with a Higher Power and a yearning for spiritual meaning.
    Sure, you can be a Jew that is passionately opposed to the rituals and faith of your people, but let’s be honest, why are you passionate about it? Why do you care so much that you need to state your “atheism” or “secularism” so often? Why do you need to identify as being “not religious”? The passion is a result of an inner calling to stand with Judaism or to oppose Judaism, but we can’t ever ignore Judaism or the Jewish people, because it’s embedded in our essence. Your passion, though expressed negatively, Is a beautiful sign of your Jewishness, carrying the inner torch gifted to you by the Jews who came before you and fought for their Judaism through thick and thin.

    I’ve spent fifteen years traversing Montana and experiencing life with my beloved fellow Jews. Everywhere I go, every family or individual I meet, I find that gem-like sacredness, the holy touch and familial warmth, alive and well in our brothers and sisters. They may not wear a Yarmulke, but have you seen their zest while singing Dayenu on Passover or lighting their Menorah? They may not fast on Yom Kippur yet, but have you seen their joy in baking Challah for Shabbos?. They may not use the Mikvah currently, but have you seen the excitement with which they kiss the Mezuzah on their home. How can we use the un-G-dly term of “secular” when these souls are so connected to their people and so in touch with their faith? If they didn’t care about Am Yisroel why are they up in arms when Jews are under attack?

    Of course, they care.

    I get it. When one grows up in a home where the 613 Mitzvos of the Torah and the illumination of Chassidic thought isn’t ingrained in your education and day-to-day living, where Kosher and Shabbos are something “Bubby does” or where “religious” is something “great grandpa Benjamin used to be”, how can we expect that you will jump for joy when discovering more observances? It’s hard to imagine feeling connected to a 3,300-year-old religion when some of the ideas seem archaic and some of your fellow Jews seem “fanatical” to the untrained eye. Yet, let me assure you that while we have superficial differences, at our core, we are one in our bedrock relationship with G-d and His Torah. We are one organism; one wholesome Jewish body and each limb is connected to the other in times of pain and happiness. Your Mezuzah brings us all protection as does my Tefillin-flanked prayers each morning. Your Tzedakah in the charity box brings positive energetics into the universe as does each woman who Chavie takes for a private Mikvah experience. The Jewish people aren’t whole without you, as it isn’t without me.

    We are one.

    We don’t need to agree on every Issue, we can differ in our political views, our religious affiliation or lack thereof, we can support Israel more or less, you can claim with religious certainty that there is “no G-d” and I can claim that there is nothing “outside of G-d”, but like at a healthy family dinner table, we are blood, we share DNA, we are all students of Moses, disciples of King David and grandchildren of those who endured so much in order to carry on the traditions of Judaism. We don’t need to die for our Jewishness like those who came before us, we can live for our Jewishness, to learn, explore and enjoy the holiness of Torah. Just because we don’t understand everything or don’t feel compelled to observe it all, doesn’t mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water and ignore our heritage. No one could claim to disagree with Einstein if they don’t study his works, so how can one deny their Judaism if they haven’t delved deeply into its reservoirs of wisdom?

    My mentor the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory taught me, and everyone who would listen, that we need to stop parading around with labels that divide us, “I am super reformed” or “I am ultra-orthodox”, “I am a progressive” or “I am conservative”, let’s rather spend our time focusing on that which brings us together. The title “secular” and “religious” are terms used to separate people, to break us apart, and who wants to be divided? We are all Jewish, thus we seek to make our world more peaceful, our planet more pristine, our conversations more productive, our lives more meaningful and our souls more nourished. I grow my beard as G-d commanded in Leviticus and you may not, I have a Mezuzah on each door in my home and you may choose to have it only on your front door, but are we really that different? When I’ve shown up at your door you’ve been appreciative, when I mailed you Jewish books you’ve expressed gratefulness and when antisemites attack us, as they do every so often, we all feel the same pain and fear, recognizing that we are one people on the same boat.

    So dear “not-so-secular” Jew, let’s not disassociate; my traditional garb shouldn’t scare you and your Mohawk shouldn’t make me run the other way. Superficiality can’t define us, rather our inner core, our fiery love for goodness, should guide us to unite, to seek inner freedom as identifiable Jews in our 2022 reality. It’s easy to create a tribalistic environment, “we are not them”, but why take the easy road out, if we can choose the harder road that keeps us in and together.

    Tomorrow night, as you sit at your Seder or even if you don’t, please remember that G-d took us all out of Egypt, split the sea, and handed us a Torah at Sinai. He did this for me, He did this for you, He did this for all of us, for His beloved Jews that are on a lifelong journey. When you recite the “Ma Nishtana” four questions, drink your four cups of wine and eat the Matzah, or even if you’re sitting at home wondering why you aren’t at Seder this year, remember we are all free on this night, free to be Jews, free to be different, free to choose oneness over divisiveness.

    Next time you see me in town or watch me on YouTube, don’t get uncomfortable, I don’t bite, I love Sushi, hiking the M and spending time with my kids, me and you are more alike than you could ever imagine. We are all part of the awesome Jewish family and I love you with every fiber of my being, because family is family and you can run all you want but you can’t hide.

    May this Pesach, this festival of freedom, bring about inner freedom for all of us, free to be ourselves, and may we merit the redemption of all our people with the coming of Mashiach when the obstacles that divide us will be obliterated, will be torn down, and we will stand as one in the holy city of Jerusalem, Amen!

    Happy and Kosher Passover,
    Chaim
    Your “religious” rabbi.