Category Archives: Adar
TODAY WE COMMEMORATE THE MILLIONS OF JEWS WHO PERISHED IN THE HOLOCAUST, BY RABBI GILAD KARIV, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF IMPJ
In Hebrew years that do not have the extra month of Adar II, such as the present year, “Memorial Day for the Shoah and Heroism” takes place close to the Shabbat during which we read from the Torah, Parshat “Shemini”.
This Torah portion opens with a description of the day of dedication of the Holy Tabernacle and how it became a tragedy and disaster when Aaron’s two sons, Nadav and Avihu, die in front of his eyes after they sacrificed “strange fire” on the altar (which they had been commanded not to do). Only two words are used to describe the reaction of Aaron their father, when the day of joy became one of sorrow: “and Aaron became silent” (Leviticus: 10; 3).
For many long years, most of the refugees and survivors of the atrocities of the Holocaust chose silence. Moses, Aaron’s brother, did not try to penetrate the silence of his brother on that day. Today we have the mission of respecting the silence of those survivors who chose to continue that path, but at the same time to invite them with love and sensitivity, to find the key to their hearts and memories and end their silence. Unlike Moses, we have to convince them that we are more attentive than ever and that their experiences and stories will be treated as a rich treasure, rather than a mere footnote of history.
Throughout the book of Leviticus, the ritual and spiritual role of the Kohanim (High Priests) is described. At the same time, we learn about the material remuneration they receive for carrying out their mission. This teaches us that we cannot ask the survivors of the Holocaust to raise their voices, to bear witness, and to bestow their legacy, without being totally committed to their wellbeing and dignity.
Yom HaShoah is commemorated this year in the shadow of the Coronavirus pandemic. Not all of the senior citizens who lost their lives in assisted living facilities and homes for the aged were Holocaust survivors; but many were and are. Regardless of this terrible crisis that we are all dealing with, it has had an increased impact on the elderly.
The lack of effective measures in those locations, especially at the beginning of the pandemic (and, to a great degree, to this day) must be prominent in our minds this week when we remember the Shoah. Holocaust survivors are living the past months with heightened anxiety and are in significant danger. The same is true of their cohorts, the generation who founded the state of Israel who didn’t suffer the terror of the Holocaust, but who laid the foundation for life here in Israel for all of us. Like Aaron HaKohen, many of them cannot raise their voices – it is our responsibility to do it for them.
Reform Rabbi and Professor Emil Fackenheim, coined the phrase: “the 614th Mitzvah” – the commandment obligated by all Jews not to give the Nazis victory after their defeat, to guarantee the continuation of the Jewish people, to renew our ability to give hope and to act towards Tikkun Olam; and most of all not to be silent and close off our hearts.
We must maintain the ability to listen to what the survivors have to tell us during their last years of life and have the wisdom to help them and their counterparts escape the silence and feel protected and respected during normal times, and especially during days of crises – this is the foundation of the 614th Mitzvah. Regardless, this terrible crisis has had a devastating impact on the elderly. We must each do our part to take the lessons of past generations into future ones.
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this unsure time.
IMPJ President & CEO Rabbi Gilad Kariv
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.
GOOD DOCS is still open during this difficult time. Our titles are available for online streaming for you to use remotely. We wish you, your families and communities safety and peace.
WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY is a new documentary that tells the incredible story of a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders in the Warsaw Ghetto who set out to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda with pen and paper. The film mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive – the caches of writing and artifacts buried by these men and women – with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport viewers inside the Ghetto and into the lives of these courageous resistance fighters.
RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY COLLECTION
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Civil rights pioneer Father Divine amassed thousands of followers with his movement dedicated to integration and communal living. Yet, scandal, suspicion, and racism led to clashes with the law and he has largely been written out of history because he dared to preach that he himself was an incarnation of God.
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THE LIGHT IN HER EYES
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Houda al-Habash founded a Qur’an school for girls in Damascus. Using Islam as a catalyst for change, she encourages women and girls to challenge tradition and pursue higher education and jobs. Offers an extraordinary portrait of a leader who challenges her community.
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Madonna Thunder Hawk and the women leaders of the American Indian Movement have been fighting for Native liberation as a community of extended families since the 1970s. Their stories, including never before seen archival footage, explore what it means to balance a movement with motherhood from generation to generation.
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EARTH, WATER, WOMAN
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The story of a community re-forestation project in Trinidad and Tobago and its charismatic leader Akilah Jaramogi. By transforming barren hillsides into a vibrant ecosystem, this community project offers a micro-solution for the macro-problem of climate change.
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Inspired by Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, the film is a tribute to something that can’t be measured, counted, bought or sold. Exploring the parallels between artists’ work and a gift economy, it’s a reflection on the creative process and the reasons we “labour in service of our gifts.”
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TIME FOR ILHAN
Ilhan Omar, a young, hijab-wearing mother of three, takes on two formidable opponents in a highly contested race for a seat in the Minnesota State Legislature. If successful, she will become the first Somali-American lawmaker in the United States. A fresh and timely take on the old story of the American Dream.
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WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW?
17 years after six American teens – from Catholic, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, Lakota & Buddhist backgrounds – shared their religious and spiritual struggles in a 2002 documentary, they return to share their surprising and deeply personal religious and spiritual journeys.
THE PARKING SPACE
Moishe is driving in Jerusalem. He’s late for a meeting, he’s looking for a parking place, and can’t find one.
In desperation, he turns towards heaven and says: “Lord, if you find me a parking place, I promise that I’ll
eat only kosher, respect Shabbos, and all the holidays.”
Miraculously, a place opens up just in front of him. He turns his face up to heaven and says, “Never mind,
I just found one!”
A visitor to Israel attended a recital and concert at the Moscovitz auditorium. He was quite impressed with
the architecture and the acoustics. He inquired of the tour guide, “Is this magnificent auditorium named after Chaim Moscovitz, the famous Talmudic scholar?”
“No,” replied the guide.
“It’s named after Sam Moscovitz, the writer.”
“Never heard of him. What did he write?”
“A check,” replied the guide.
THE SINKING BOAT
Two Jews, Morty and Saul, are out one afternoon on a lake when their boat starts sinking. Saul says to Morty, “So listen, Morty, you know I don’t swim so well.”
Morty remembers how to carry another swimmer from his lifeguard class when he was just a kid, so he begins tugging Saul toward shore. After ten minutes, he begins to tire. Finally about 100 feet from shore, Morty asks Saul, “So Saul, do you suppose you could float alone?”.
Saul replies, “Morty, this is a hell of a time to be asking for money!”
THE CITIZENSHIP TEST
Saul Epstein was taking an oral exam in his English as a Second Language class. He was asked to spell
“cultivate,” and he spelled it correctly. He was then asked to use the word in a sentence, and, with a big smile responded: “Last vinter on a very cold day, I vas vaiting for a bus, but it vas too cultivate, so I took the subvay home.”
A wealthy Jewish man buys a fabulous home in Beverly Hills. He brings in a local workman to decorate the place.
When the job is finished, the homeowner is delighted but realizes that he’s forgotten to put mezuzahs on the doors.
He goes out and buys 50 mezuzahs and asks the decorator to place them on the right hand side of each door except bathrooms and kitchens.
He’s really worried that the decorator will chip the paint work or won’t put them up correctly. However, when he comes back a few hours later, he sees that the job has been carried out to his entire satisfaction. He’s so pleased that he gives the decorator a bonus. As the decorator is walking out of the door he says, “Glad you’re happy with the job. By the way, I took out all the warranties in the little boxes and left them on the table for you!”
Moishe Goldberg was heading out of the Synagogue one day, and as always Rabbi Mendel was standing at the door shaking hands as the congregation departed. The rabbi grabbed Moishe by the hand, pulled him aside and whispered these words at him: “You need to join the Army of God!”
Moishe replied: “I’m already in the Army of God, Rabbi.”
The rabbi questioned: “How come I don’t see you except for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?”
Moishe whispered back: “I’m in the secret service.”
MEAL TIME ON EL-AL
It was mealtime during a flight on El-Al.
“Would you like dinner?” the flight attendant asked Moishe, seated in front.
“What are my choices” asks Moishe
“Yes or no” answered the flight attendant.
Submitted by Helen Cherry
Editor’s note: AN IMPORTANT message from Aitz Chaim Congregation President, Laura Weiss:
All our gatherings will be canceled until further notice.
This is unfortunate but an appropriate and responsible response to the crisis at hand.
The first Friday Shabbat gatherings and also the community Passover Seder will be canceled.
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
Shalom, Beth Shalom and Friends:
The Hebrew word for crisis is Mashber, meaning “broken times or crisis.”
Historically, Mashber has been translated as a “birthing stool,” a specially-designed, semi-broken chair intended to assist a woman in posture and support during childbirth. In other words, this ostensibly misshapen, broken stool actually symbolized opportunity and new life, created despite the pain and strife of childbirth. We must not be broken down by this virus, this modern-day Mashber, but rather, we should meet the challenge and become a better community because of our resilience and our humanity.
We remain hopeful in the face of COVID-19 and its challenges to our lives, livelihood, education, social interactions, and congregation. Many thanks are due to Beth Shalom’s leadership for being proactive and cautious, and for putting plans in place to keep us connected. We will continue to follow the most current information on the virus, remain in contact and maintain our supportive community.
As your Rabbi, and your Jewish voice of Bozeman, please know that I am available to meet in person (six feet apart, of course!), online, by phone, or email, and am committed to offering support at anytime. Amber and I will lead the March 27 service from our Beth Shalom sanctuary, which will be streamed via Zoom. More instructions for accessing the service will be available Friday afternoon. Please plan to join our Zoom Shabbat.
On Thursday evening, March 26th, at 7:00 p.m., I will teach a Zoom class on how to lead a Passover Seder. Stay tuned for more specific information.
One balm for the anxiety we experience due to Coronavirus uncertainty is to feel the comfort and hopefulness expressed in prayer. I do my best to tap into this sacred capacity even when there is evidence to despair.
Here are prayers I speak and sing on these challenging days:
I pray that my family, friends, colleagues, neighbors and those unknown to me know good health.
I pray that all those helping the sick be free of illness and have strength to serve.
I pray leaders in government, industry and science be blessed with wisdom and compassion to make the best decisions.
I pray we find a vaccine soon and remedies for those already sickened by the virus.
I pray that during quarantines and limited social gatherings we remain connected to each other.
The Source of all that is good, send healing to the ill and weakened, eliminating the coronavirus from our midst.
When we gather for services, we recite the Mi Sheberach-Healing prayer.
Please recite the words with me: Bless those in need of healing with Refuah Shlaymah—the renewal of body, the renewal of spirit and let us say, Amen.
Let us be resolute, in the face of Mashber, in the time of COVID-19, to show our kindness and resiliency as a Temple, community and world.
Rabbi Mark Kula
Shalom CBA Members and friends,
There will be some more emails going out in the coming days from the Board and myself regarding how CBA will be operating going forward in the face of issues related to COVID-19. For now:
– Adult Education on Monday and Wednesday will continue. This week, you may come to the synagogue, but are highly encouraged to join us online. Beginning next week, classes will be held ONLINE ONLY. If you need assistance setting up for this, please contact me and I will do my best to help. All classes are accessible through this link
Later on in the week we will hopefully have a plan in place for future services and events, including Shabbats, Passover, and the Centennial. Many synagogues across all streams of Judaism have been shutting down public gatherings out of a sense of caution, and we are evaluating how this might work for us.
– We are evaluating how best we can help and support each other in the coming days or weeks. Several of our members have already reached out to me to see how they can assist with things like basic grocery delivery, and other support to our members who have less mobility or who must remain homebound. Watch for an email later this week about what is needed and how you can help.
– If you need or want to talk to me for any reason at all, whether to just check in, to “vent”, or for moral, emotional, or spiritual support, please do not hesitate to contact me via email email@example.com or by phone (406-413-5367) 24/7. I can’t promise that I’ll always pick up immediately, but I will absolutely get back to you as soon as I’m able. Out of an abundance of caution, I won’t be meeting in person for longer than a minute or two, but I’ll definitely make sure that we can talk.
– Stay Safe. Be prepared. Help Each Other. We will get through this.
Erik L Uriarte, MAHL
Student Rabbi and Director of Religious Programming
Congregation Beth Aaron – Billings, MT
Cell: (406) 413-5367
March 17, 2020
21 Adar, 5780
Dear members and friends,
The Har Shalom Board and I will meet this evening (virtually) and confirm the results of our ongoing planning for our community’s response to Covid-19.
We will announce all the measures, which will include streaming of services, learning and pastoral appointments by zoom, plans for Atidaynu, and special online support sessions during the week. We can weather this together; even if we are physically separated, we can stay connected. PLEASE let us know if you are shut in and need something, whether material or virtual.
I am grateful for the beautiful spring that is clearly coming on and for all the offers of “may-I-get-something-for-you-at-the-store”. I am grateful for sheltering beneath the wings of Shekhinah. May we all experience blessings of health and happiness!!!
–Rabbi Laurie Franklin