Category Archives: Elul
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Rabbi Ruz will not be with us this year for Yom Kippur services. Wendy and Devorah will lead the services, and we will live stream Kol Nidre services with Rabbi Ed Staffman from Bozeman again like we did last year, hopefully with better results this time. If someone can coordinate with Aaron Weissman to lead a mid-afternoon discussion, that would be great. Otherwise, the schedule will be the same. Thank you for your understanding. Please make it a point to attend services at the Bethel if at all possible. We all wish Rabbi Ruz a speedy recovery, and a happy and healthy New Year.
Todah Robah to the following congregation members for their hospitality to Rabbi Ruz Gulko over Yom Kippur week end.
- Friday, 09/29/2017, Airport Pickup: Marty Foxman
- Friday Evening, 09/29/2017, Dinner Hosts: Don and Helen Cherry
This is the usual request to send any corrections to the Yizkor list to me, but with a twist.
I have tried for several years to get an answer to my question regarding who should or should not be on the list, and who stays on the list, and why. If we were to have a discussion on the subject, the number of opinions probably would outnumber the number of participants in the discussion. In my opinion, the best and most satisfactory answer to this question I have ever received was from a Rabbi, who said that this congregation is so mixed and so small that we should just keep doing what we have been doing. so in the tradition of the Jewish faith and of this congregation, I want to include on the list the names of the loved ones who have departed in the way that those who loved them and are still living want them to be remembered and included.
I know this is not just a list of names, but a sacred list, a list of people we honor and remember, people we knew and loved who shared their lives with us and, in many cases, taught us how to be Jews, a people set apart, a family of God. This is a special and beautiful legacy that we could have received from no one else, one to wear proudly and with dignity, one that is before our eyes and in our hearts daily to guide, encourage, sustain, and comfort us through the calms and storms of this present life, one to share with each other and to pass on to our children and their children into the future. So in this list we have an unbreakable chain that binds us together as individual links, as families, and as a community, to both our past and our future. I want to preserve it as intact as possible for the benefit of present and future congregants. Doing so is a labor of love from me to you.
Joy Breslauer, Aitz Chaim Editor
EDITOR’S NOTE: If God wrote you a letter wishing you a happy new year, what do you think it might say?
By Rabbi Chaim
On Wednesday evening, we will usher in a New Year with Rosh Hashana 5778. During the holiday service, we read the Haftorah about the infertility of Chana and Elkanah. Chana – childless and troubled by her super-fertile sister Peninah – travels to G-d’s Tabernacle in Shiloh and breaks down in prayer, beseeching G-d for a child. She is then blessed with baby Samuel, who grows to be a prominent prophet of the Jewish people. When she returns with Shmuel to Shiloh, she thanks G-d. In her words “ For this child did I pray, and the Lord granted me my request, which I asked of Him.”
How often do we pause to simply say “thank you” to Hashem before submitting our next request? How often do we see the gifts given to us by G-d and just relish in them? How often do we recognize that Indeed Hashem has answered our prayers?
I want to publicly express my thanks to the Almighty for all that He has done for my family and me, and to apologize for not being grateful enough.
Last night, I envisioned receiving this note from G-d:
Thanks again for dedicating your life to sharing my Torah with Montana. I appreciate all that you do, but I need to knock some sense into you and put you in your place, so please bear with me.
I know that you, like all my creations, have “moments” but please get a grip. Next time you are struggling, next time you think your world is imploding, next time you question what I’m smoking, please remember Chana’s words “El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray.”. These heartbreaking moments of life always pass, and at the end you will see that I’ve answered your prayers in spades.
When your children are misbehaving, Chaim, giving you heartache, remind yourself:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. You wanted a family so badly and look, I’ve provided you and Chavie with just that.
When your child is struggling with a tough medical quandary, remind yourself Chaim:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. Yes, they have health challenges, but I’ve also gifted you and Chavie with inner strength and amazing doctors to get you through the darkness.
When you drive 400 miles just to visit one young Jew in desperate need of love, remind yourself Chaim:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. How fortunate are you to spend your day on the road, in order to uplift one of My children.
When a Jew increases their Mitzva observance and you’re frustrated that it isn’t more, remind yourself Chaim:
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. Yes, it may be a bit frustrating, but in My eyes, Chaim, their small step upwards has shaken the heavens and is so precious.
When you think that someone else has it easier or better than you, remind yourself Chaim,
El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray. The life I have given you is a perfect fit, tailor made for you, so cut the you-know-what and be grateful.
Do you feel me Chaim? I don’t mean to shut you up, but please take a moment, daily, to see how much you’re loved and blessed.
I bless you with a rokin New Year and wish you continued success in making Montana a place that makes Me feel at home. Please thank Chavie on My behalf, not only for putting up with you, but for being an amazing mother to her five Kinderlach and a spiritual leader of Big Sky Country.
There’s nothing about my life I’d want to swap out, and neither should you. Look at your life and sing “El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti – For this child I did pray”. G-d please continue to give me what I need to be the best I can be in service of You!
Please take a moment before Rosh Hashana to enjoy this beautiful rendition of El Hanaar Hazeh Hispalalti, composed by Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles. The kids and I love it, I think you will too!
Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom & Shana Tova!
Your friends @ Chabad Lubavitch,
Rabbi Chaim, Chavie, Shoshana, Chaya, Zeesy, Menny & Chana Laya
How to Prepare Yourself and Your Congregation for the High Holidays
By Rabbi Rick Jacobs , 9/05/2017
Tallit, machzor (High Holiday prayer book), traditional head covering, and shofar
For the Jewish community, the balmy days of summer are far from relaxing, perhaps never more so than this year, as we grappled with the meaning of the events in Charlottesville, marched in Washington, and reached out to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Now that Labor Day has passed, the intense preparations for our fall “Rites of Renewal” are in full swing. Few of us can quite articulate the forces that summon us to the spiritual practices of the upcoming Days of Awe. For some, these rites are familiar from childhood, for others, they are the chosen practices of adulthood, but for all, there are aspects of our participation in the Days of Awe that we do not completely understand. That is not to say that our religious life is irrational, but rather that the world we live in, especially in these challenging times, defies neat rationalizations – making congregational life more vital than ever for us and our members.
Beginning on Rosh Chodesh Elul (the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul – which occurred two weeks ago, just after the solar eclipse), a month before Rosh HaShanah, there are many practices and customs that can prepare us for the intensity and depth of the High Holidays.
One such practice is to sound the shofar daily. The shofar blasts – Tekiah, Shevarim, Teruah – return us to a time when most of existence was mysterious. According to Rabbi Michael Meyer in Response to Modernity: A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism, it was for this very reason that our Reform forbears of the 19th century eliminated the sounding of the shofar: “because its use was encrusted with kabbalistic notions and its raucous, primitive sound was believed more likely to disturb devotion than to stimulate it.” In some Reform congregations at the time, a trumpet’s more refined, modern sound replaced the shofar’s eerie, primitive wail, but given our collective hunger for the authentic, soul-awakening Jewish practice, I doubt that substituting trumpet blasts for the shofar is still a practice in our community. Especially for all of us who lead our people, it is important to hear the shofar’s ancient, haunting call – both to strip away facades and to face ourselves, each other, and the Nameless One with honesty and truthfulness.
Spiritual preparation and introspection, too, are essential for everyone who hopes to experience the transformative power of the High Holidays, but there is more. I love the teaching of one of my heroes, Rabbi Marshall Meyer, who was one of the 20th century’s true rabbinic giants. Born and bred in the U.S., he moved to Argentina and fought for human rights during the dangerous years of the military junta, and in the 1980’s brought his unique blend of spirituality and social justice to New York City’s Upper West Side to revive Congregation B’nai Jeshurun. He taught:
Rosh HaShanah initiates the Aseret Yimei Teshuvah, commonly translated as the “Ten Days of Repentance.” I would like to suggest that for these days to have a new dimension of meaning, we translate them as the “Ten Days of Searching, Twisting, and Turning,” of wrestling with our souls and trying desperately to find new meaning to our existence.
Like his teacher, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Rabbi Meyer wants us not only to be introspective in our preparation for the upcoming High Holidays. These days also are a time for us to accept greater responsibility for the repair of our aching world. From looming dangers of a nuclear North Korea to the famine in East Africa to the struggles for religious freedom in Israel, to the soul-searing plight of refugees around the world and the mostly locked gates of the U.S., there is urgent need wherever we turn our gaze.
In this climate, our congregations can – and must – be incubators of spiritual energy, encouraging all who enter their doors to live more courageous and fulfilling lives. Creating that energy and infusing it deeply within our communities is the biggest, most holy work before us. Let us make sure to keep our eyes on that goal.
Beginning in Elul, and with growing in intensity during the upcoming High Holidays and throughout the new year of 5778, may we hear and respond not only to the shofar’s wailing cries, but also those of the countless people, both near and far, who are crying out for healing and for love.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs
Rabbi Rick Jacobs is the president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest Jewish movement in North America, with almost 900 congregations and nearly 1.5 million members. An innovative thought leader, dynamic visionary, and representative of progressive Judaism, he spent 20 years as the spiritual leader of Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale, NY. Deeply dedicated to global social justice issues, he has led disaster response efforts in Haiti and Darfur. Learn more about Rabbi Rick Jacobs.
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 comfort to all who are bereaved.
|English Date of Passing||Hebrew Date of Passing||Deceased Relationship to
|Sarah Lewin||Mar 11, 2017||13 Adar, 5777||Mother of Rachel Michele Lewin Costaneda|
|Lydia (Leah) Bailey||Mar 31, 2017||3 Nisan, 5777||Mother of Karen (Chaya) Semple|
|William Meyer||Sep 6, 1966||21 Elul, 5726||Grandfather of Diane Sherick|
|Norman Nagel||Sep 6, 1976||11 Elul, 5736||Father of Meriam Nagel|
|Harriet Renne||Sep 11, 2009||22 Elul, 5769||Mother of Michael Renne|
|Joe Barrett||Sep 14, 1993||28 Elul, 5753||Uncle of Nadyne Weissman|
|Paralee Poplack Shapiro||Sep 20, 1999||10 Tishrei, 5760||Mother of Jeff Shapiro|
|Zel Lana Jenings||Sep 21, 2006||28 Elul, 5766||Niece of Diane Sherick|
|Frances Langsam||Sep 22, 1996||9 Tishrei, 5757||Mother of Helen Cherry|
|Alfred Maleson||Sep 24, 2009||6 Tishrei, 5770||Uncle of Wendy Weissman|
|Nathan Rapaport||Sep 27, 1925||9 Tishrei, 5686||Grandfather of Nadyne Weissman|
|Leila Rapaport Green||Sep 27, 1967||23 Tishrei, 5728||Grandmother of Nadyne Weissman|
|William Semple||Sep 29, 2010||21 Tishrei, 5771||father of Doug Semple|