IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM RABBI CHAIM BRUK, BOZEMAN
I hope this finds each and every one of you in good health. I know this email is somewhat long, but please read until the end.
Firstly, I beseech you to heed the instructions of your local health department and hunker down and wait out the storm. I don’t like the term “social distancing”, as we are blessed to live in an age of technology that we can be socially active, while still maintaining “physical distancing”. Chavie and I are so grateful to the tens of friends who reached out to check on us and to offer a helping hand.
The Shul of Bozeman is closed and all of our “normal” Chabad Lubavitch activities are suspended until further notice. Please DO NOT come to the Shul or our home. If you need to come by to get your Talit or Siddur, please call/text/email in advance to confirm that it’s ok and how to arrange it in the most sensible way. The women’s Mikvah is still open but will be used only by those who are well and in discussion with Chavie, our Rebbetzin and Mikvah attendant.
We are here to help . If you are at home and cannot visit your local pharmacy or grocery to get what you need, please reach out to us and we will do our best, while following the health department recommendations, to bring your items to your doorstep without any physical contact. Whether you’re in Dillon or Great Falls, Whitefish or Missoula, anywhere in Montana and beyond, if you need our help, please reach out.
If you are in good shape and would like to volunteer to bring items to those in need, please let me know ASAP and I will add you to the volunteer list.
While at home, I highly recommend that you do what Jews have always done: pray to G-d. Take out your Siddur (prayer book) or Tehillim (book of Psalms) and plead with the Almighty to end this horrible plague. While surfing the web for the never ending supply of negative news, pause and take some time to learn Torah: visit http://www.Chabad.org for a wide array of online Torah classes. I will be also broadcasting my class on Facebook as I do each week, but perhaps will add more classes as the weeks of isolation progress.
I know that Passover is on everyone’s mind. It is on our minds too. We don’t have a plan yet, but one thing is certain that will make sure Shemurah Matzah will get to every family that needs it and as of now the Kosher food delivery is still on schedule to make it to Bozeman sometime next week. As for Kosher for Passover food, especially for the Seders, we will have more answers on this matter in the next week or so.
The Rabbis and Rebbetzins at our three Chabad centers in Bozeman, Missoula and Kalispell, are here for each one of you. Though we can’t see you in person, we are here to help in any way possible. Many programs and classes will be shared online, Montana’s Jewish Voice will still reach you before Passover G-d willing and we are here for one-on-one phone calls anytime.
Personally, I’ve set up a system where you can sign up for a 15-minute chat with me to study Torah, chat about life or seek guidance in this challenging time. Click on this link to set up your 15-minute slot.
For over a decade Chabad Lubavitch of Montana has a devoted local advisory board consisting of Mrs. Robin Bequet, Dr. Sarah Bronsky, Mrs. Paola Feher, Rabbi Amram Phelps, Dr. Mick Lifson, Mrs. Kinerette Martin and Mr. Seth Robbins. They along with me and Chavie will work together to figure out a plan for this odd time and see it through recovery.
This is a very hard time for us financially. Many of our regular donors and Passover donors are hurting due to the economic slowdown. We would like to remain stable through this era, so If you are blessed to be in a place that you could help others, please help us do our holy and vital work. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE A DONATION HERE: http://WWW.JEWISHMONTANA.COM/DONATE
Friends, we will get through this, but it will be a rough period. Don’t despair, don’t give up, don’t stop praying; we are resilient, and we’ve been through worse. WE SHALL OVERCOME!
Rabbi Chaim Bruk