Category Archives: Passover

COMMUNITY PASSOVER SEDER REMINDER

Please remember that the Aitz chaim Community Seder is this Friday, April 26, at 5:30 P.M., in the basement of the O’Haire Motor Inn, 17 7th Street South, in Great Falls.

Please have your reservations in by this week end, as we will need to have a count to the caterer by Monday, April 22.

For reservations or inquiries, e-mail Laura at
president@aitzchaim.com

Send your payment to:
Congregation Aitz Chaim
C/O Wendy Weissman, CPA
525 Central Avenue, Suite L8
Great Falls, MT 59401-3271

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Next year in Jerusalem, but if not, the O’Haire Motor Inn!

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HAPPY PESACH FROM OUR HOUSE TO YOURS

Chag Pesach Sameach from Bruce and Joy Breslauer






19 WAYS YOU KNOW IT’S PASSOVER IN ISRAEL

FROM THE JEWISH NEWS SYNDICATE

Submitted by Brian Schnitzer, MAJCo

WHAT MAKES A PERSON JEWISH?

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Born Half Jewish, I Chose to Be Wholly So
My journey began when my Catholic mother joined the local synagogue.
By
Joshua Weisberg
April 18, 2019 7:25 p.m. ET

On Friday night Jews around the world will recite the Passover haggadah, a celebration of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and an opportunity to reflect on identity. Children will sing the “four questions,” beginning with, “Why is tonight different from all other nights?” As my own children ask their questions, I remember the ones I grappled with decades ago.

“It never occurred to me that I was creating a conflict,” my mother told me recently. “One day, when you were 5, I saw you standing in front of a mirror. You said to me, ‘I know I am half Jewish and half German, I just don’t know which half is which.’ ”

Shortly thereafter, my German Catholic mom insisted that our family join the local Reform synagogue. She no longer believed in God, but she missed the community, music and holidays of her Catholic childhood. “Besides,” she told my American Jewish atheist father, “Joshua has a right to be exposed to Judaism. It is half of his heritage.”

After high school, my dad encouraged me to take a year off before attending college. He suggested volunteering on a kibbutz, an Israeli agricultural commune, which sounded adventurous enough. At my first job in the communal dining room, I met Jews who had fled Germany for Palestine in the 1930s. Many of their families had a formal, diluted Jewish identity but yearned for something more passionate and moved to help build a new home for their people.
It was the first time I had met people for whom Judaism was more than a heritage, for whom identity was worth making sacrifices. Many were disappointed to learn that I planned to return to Canada. I thought of the year in Israel as an experience; they assumed I had come home.

Religious faith didn’t bind the kibbutzniks to Israel. They typically were confident in their secularism—happily eating bread with matzo on Passover while denying the existence of God. But I didn’t know enough about the religion to rebel against it. After leaving the kibbutz I joined a yeshiva, or center for Talmudic studies.
My doubts about God’s existence didn’t surprise or disappoint my rabbi. “I don’t believe in the god you don’t believe in either,” he said and explained that my limited language for faith gave me a shallow image of God, which he also rejected. “You’re Jewish, Joshua. You can worry about God later. At your age, you should be learning Talmud.”
I studied and eventually learned that technically I was not Jewish. But no one asked, and I didn’t volunteer the information.

The year ended, and soon I was at Wesleyan. On the first night the university president spoke to new students and their families about the importance of challenging tradition. For dinner they served lobster, which isn’t kosher. I filled my plate with pasta salad—but my dad couldn’t turn down a good crustacean.

For so many Jews I met at Wesleyan, Israel was a problem and Judaism an afterthought. The dissonance between my inner world and theirs made me miss Israel even more, and after two years I returned and studied more Talmud. This time I told my rabbis that my mother was not Jewish. They encouraged me to convert formally, but I resisted—too Jewish to convert and too Jewish not to.
Eventually I converted. Through studying Talmud, I learned to appreciate the subtleties of faith, the depth of Jewish spiritual practice, and the possibility of an encounter with God in the act of study itself. Twenty-five years later, I teach Talmud for a living and have eight children who speak Judaism as their first language.

Last year I took my teenage daughter on a trip to visit family in the U.S. A woman at the airport noticed her modest dress and asked if she was Amish, embarrassing my daughter. I told her to be proud, that Americans respect people who keep their traditions. “It isn’t what Americans think that embarrasses me,” she replied. “I just don’t know why we have to be so different from everyone else. Why can’t we just be people?”

Jewish law is demanding. When I struggled with Judaism’s exclusivity and claims to chosenness, I immersed myself in the Talmud’s complexity and tried to shield my children from my own contradictions. But now my daughter was as confused as I had been at her age. It had never occurred to me that I was creating a conflict, too.
“I have lots of questions, dad.” She asked what to do.

“You’re Jewish,” I said. “Maybe we should start learning some Talmud together.”

Mr. Weisberg is a rabbi and educator at Nishmat in Jerusalem.
Appeared in the April 19, 2019, print edition.

Submitted by Jerry Weissman

HAPPY PESACH!

Happy Pesach from M, K, K, L, and F.

WHY ARE SEPHARDIC SEDERS DIFFERENT FROM ASHKENAZIC SEDERS?

CLICK HERE TO FINE OUT

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL COMMUNITY PASSOVER SEDER!

The annual Aitz Chaim community Passover Seder will be held at 5:30pm Friday, April 26, in the basement room of the O’Haire Motor Inn, 17 7th Street South. The meal will include all the traditional fixings and a multi course dinner including matzo ball soup, salad, brisket, chicken, potato, vegetable, and dessert. The cost will be $30 per adult member, and $40 per adult non-member. Children under 13 are $20. If you have special dietary requests, please contact Laura to see if they can be accommodated. The Seder will be led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko.

Payment is expected in advance unless other arrangements have been made. Please be aware you will be responsible for the cost if you do not attend and have not canceled prior to April 21.

To make reservations or inquiries, e-mail Laura at president@aitzchaim.com

Send your payment to:
Congregation Aitz Chaim
C/O Wendy Weissman, CPA
525 Central Avenue, Suite L8
Great Falls, MT 59401-3271

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Happy Pesach!

AITZ CHAIM COMMUNITY SEDER IS SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2018

Please join us for our annual Aitz Chaim Community Seder, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko.

When: Saturday, April 7, 2018

Where: Clark and Lewie’s, 17 7th St. S., 5:30 P.M.

What: The meal will include all the traditional fixings including matzo ball soup, salad, brisket, chicken, potato, vegetable, and dessert.

By now we should have received your reservation and payment.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

DAYENU: MY ATTEMPT AT ENGLISH TRANSLATION

I wrote these words to be sung to the familiar tune, one of my favorites.

If He’d brought us out from Egypt,
And had not judged the Egyptians,,
Out from Egypt,
Judged Egyptians,
Dayenu!

If He had judged the Egyptians,
And had not destroyed their idols
Judged Egyptians,
Not their idols,
Dayenu!

If He had destroyed their idols,
And had not destroyed their first-born
Destroyed idols,
Not their firstborn,
Dayenu!

If He had destroyed their first-born,
And not given us their riches,
Destroyed firstborn,
Not their riches,
Dayenu!

If He’d given us their riches,
And had not the Reed Sea parted,
Given riches,
Sea not parted,
Dayenu!

If He had the Reed Sea parted,
And not led us through on dry land
Reed Sea parted,
Not on dry land,
Dayenu!

If He led us through on dry land,
And had not drowned our oppressors,
Through on dry land,
Not oppressors,
Dayenu!

If He had drowned our oppressors,
and not led us in the desert,
drowned oppressors,
Not the desert,
dayenu!

If He’d led us in the desert,
And had not fed us with manna
In the desert,
Not with Manna,
Dayenu!

If He had fed us with manna,
And not given us the Shabbat,
Fed us manna,
Not the Shabbat,
dayenu!

If He’d given us the Shabbat,
And not brought us to Mount Sinai
Gave us Shabbat,
Not Mount Sinai,
Dayenu!

If He brought us to Mount Sinai,
And not given us the Torah
To Mount Sinai,
Not the Torah,
Dayenu!

If He’d given us the Torah,
and had not brought us to Israel
gave the Torah,
not to Israel,
dayenu!

If He had brought us to Israel,
and not built the Holy Temple
brought to Israel,
not the Temple,
dayenu!

DAYENU WITH ENGLISH, HEBREW, AND TRANSLITERATION

Dayenu with English Hebrew and Transliteration
From http://www.haggadot.com
Contributed by Danielle & Misha Slutsky

One of the most beloved songs in the Passover seder is “Dayenu”. A few of us will read the stanzas one at a time, and then everyone else will respond, “Dayenu” – meaning, “it would have been enough”.

How many times do we forget to pause and notice that where we are is exactly where we ought to be? Dayenu is a reminder to never forget all the miracles in our lives. When we stand and wait impatiently for the next one to appear, we are missing the whole point of life. Instead, we can actively seek a new reason to be grateful, a reason to say “Dayenu.”

Fun fact: Persian and Afghani Jews hit each other over the heads and shoulders with scallions every time they say Dayenu! They especially use the scallions in the ninth stanza which mentions the manna that the Israelites ate everyday in the desert, because Torah tells us that the Israelites began to complain about the manna and longed for the onions, leeks and garlic. Feel free to be Persian/Afghani for the evening if you’d like.

English translation

Transliteration

Hebrew

If He had brought us out from Egypt,

Ilu hotzianu mimitzrayim,

אִלּוּ הוֹצִיאָנוּ מִמִּצְרָיִם

and had not carried out judgments against them

v’lo asah bahem sh’fatim,

וְלֹא עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayeinu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had carried out judgments against them,

Ilu asah bahem sh’fatim

אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בָּהֶם שְׁפָטִים

and not against their idols

v’lo asah beloheihem,

וְלֹא עָשָׂה בֵּאלֹהֵיהֶם

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had destroyed their idols,

Ilu asah beloheihem,

אִלּוּ עָשָׂה בֵּאלֹהֵיהֶם

and had not smitten their first-born

v’lo harag et b’choreihem,

וְלֹא הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had smitten their first-born,

Ilu harag et b’choreihem,

אִלּוּ הָרַג אֶת בְּכוֹרֵיהֶם

and had not given us their wealth

v’lo natan lanu et mamonam,

וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had given us their wealth,

Ilu natan lanu et mamonam,

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת מָמוֹנָם

and had not split the sea for us

v’lo kara lanu et hayam,

ןלא קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayeinu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had split the sea for us,

Ilu kara lanu et hayam,

אִלּוּ קָרַע לָנוּ אֶת הַיָּם

and had not taken us through it on dry land

v’lo he’eviranu b’tocho becharavah,

וְלֹא הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had taken us through the sea on dry land,

Ilu he’eviranu b’tocho becharavah,

אִלּוּ הֶעֱבִירָנוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ בֶּחָרָבָה

and had not drowned our oppressors in it

v’lo shika tzareinu b’tocho,

וְלֹא שִׁקַע צָרֵינוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had drowned our oppressors in it,

Ilu shika tzareinu b’tocho,

אִלּוּ שִׁקַע צָרֵינוּ בְּתוֹכוֹ

and had not supplied our needs in the desert for forty years

v’lo sipeik tzorkeinu bamidbar arba’im shana,

וְלֹא סִפֵּק צָרַכֵּנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayeinu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had supplied our needs in the desert for forty years,

Ilu sipeik tzorkeinu bamidbar arba’im shana,

אִלּוּ סִפֵּק צָרַכֵּנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה

and had not fed us the manna

v’lo he’echilanu et haman,

וְלֹא הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayeinu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had fed us the manna,

Ilu he’echilanu et haman,

אִלּוּ הֶאֱכִילָנוּ אֶת הַמָּן

and had not given us the Shabbat

v’lo natan lanu et hashabbat,

וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had given us the Shabbat,

Ilu natan lanu et hashabbat,

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת

and had not brought us before Mount Sinai

v’lo keirvanu lifnei har sinai,

וְלֹא קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayeinu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had brought us before Mount Sinai,

Ilu keirvanu lifnei har sinai,

אִלּוּ קֵרְבָנוּ לִפְנֵי הַר סִינַי

and had not given us the Torah

v’lo natan lanu et hatorah,

וְלֹא נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had given us the Torah,

Ilu natan lanu et hatorah,

אִלּוּ נָתַן לָנוּ אֶת הַתּוֹרָה

and had not brought us into the land of Israel

v’lo hichnisanu l’eretz yisra’eil,

וְלֹא הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל

— Dayenu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ

If He had brought us into the land of Israel,

Ilu hichnisanu l’eretz yisra’eil,

אִלּוּ הִכְנִיסָנוּ לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל

and not built for us the Holy Temple

v’lo vanah lanu et beit hamikdash,

וְלֹא בָּנָה לָנוּ אֶת בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ

— Dayeinu, it would have been enough!

dayenu!

דַּיֵּנוּ