Category Archives: Cheshvan


Dear Friends

It is my pleasure to share with you some reflections on this week’s Torah portion. Feel free to print it before Shabbat and share it in your shuls and at your Shabbat tables. Forward it to friends and colleagues – as the world gears up for another Shabbat of Jewish unity and celebration.
Download and print here
Stars and sand
“I will surely bless you, and I will make your descendants numerous like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore.”

In this week’s parsha, Vayeira, we read this famous blessing that G-d gives to Abraham.

There’s an obvious question here. According to current estimates, there are around 7.7 billion people in the world, of whom approximately only 14.6 million are Jews – children of Abraham. We make up roughly only 0.2% of the world’s population. How, then, do we understand this blessing of being great in number – numerous like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore – when clearly, we are not, and never have been? And even G-d Himself, later in the Torah, tells us that He did not choose the Jewish people “because you are the most numerous of the nations… since you are [indeed] the fewest”.

Rav Yaakov Zvi Mecklenberg, a 19th-century German commentator, finds a clue in an unusual rendering of a very similar blessing found in last week’s Torah portion, Lech Lecha. The verse says: “I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, then your offspring too can be counted.”

He explains that the Hebrew word used here for “to count” – limnot, actually means “to ascribe importance to”. G-d blesses Abraham’s descendants not that they will be as numerous as the dust of the earth, but rather that they will be important to the world in the same way that the earth is important. He blesses them that their contribution to the world should be significant and tangible.

Rav Naphtali Tzvi Berlin, dean of the great Yeshiva of Volozhin, takes a similar approach. He explains that, like the stars, Abraham’s descendants will have a special power to illuminate the world, their contribution radiating across history and pointing the way forward for human progress.

The Kli Yakar takes a different approach. He says the blessing that we will be like “the sand of the seashore” is a reference not to the future impact of the Jewish people, but to our endurance as a nation.

The sand on the seashore is constantly subjected to the waves that come crashing down on it, threatening to wash it away – and yet, while its grains shift, the seashore remains, unmoved, unmovable. The analogy is clear. Throughout history, the Jewish people have faced enemy after enemy – Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Crusades, Cossacks, Communists, Nazis – yet we remain steadfastly in place, holding the line, not washed away.

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (Germany, 1808-1888) discusses how Jewish history has always defied the laws of nature, how our very origins are enveloped in miracles. Take the birth of Isaac, mentioned in this week’s parsha. Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah was 90, and they had an only son. What were the chances of this little family becoming a great nation? Yet, from these rickety beginnings, the Jewish people emerged, thereby expressing so clearly the Divine blessing and plan for our nation. Isaac’s name comes from the Hebrew word for ‘laughter’, which reflects how, through G-d’s eternal blessings given to Abraham and his descendants, Jewish destiny has laughed at the laws of history and transcended the usual trajectory of nations and defied the odds, time and again.

In 2011, I attended the Conference of European Rabbis in Warsaw, the largest gathering of rabbis in Poland since the Second World War. It stirred something deep within me. To witness such a huge gathering of Jewish leaders from all over Europe in a city that had literally caged its Jewish population and then shipped them off to death was to understand the miracle of Jewish endurance. It was a loud declaration that we Jews, thanks to Divine providence, are still here.

The miraculous enduring vibrancy of the Jewish people is a key theme of this year’s Shabbat Project, which will see Jews of all backgrounds uniting in more than 1 600 cities and 105 countries around the world to keep and celebrate Shabbat.

The call to sign up and jump together is a call to define our Jewish identity by inspiration rather than force of circumstance, uniting in joy and celebration around our Divine values, rather than pain and persecution. It is a call to embrace Shabbat, which is the vibrant source of our connection to G-d, family, community and even to ourselves. It is a call to unify as Jews, as brothers and sisters who love each other, and who are bonded together by our shared Divine destiny.

Let’s jump together, shake the dust of the earth and live the miracle of our ongoing vitality. Let’s shine our light to the world.
Let’s not just endure, let’s flourish.

Listen to the recording

Here’s to keeping it together.
Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

The Shabbat Project. Me, you and Jews all over the world experiencing one complete Shabbat together. Join in on 15/16 November 2019. Let’s keep it together!


The holidays are just around the corner, which means we need to start thinking about staffing the Mercy Home for Christmas. If you are interested in helping out, let me know. We may have to combine shifts this year if we don’t have enough volunteers, so let me know if you are able to help and what day and I will figure out what shifts we can do for them.

For those who don’t know what this is, our Jewish community runs the Mercy Home – the domestic violence shelter for women – on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so that their staff can spend time with their families. If you are new to volunteering, you will take a quick training – either I can do it or a Mercy Home staff member can do it. Volunteering is easy and a great use of your Christmas Eve/Day. The shelter has been full for the last few years, and it is great to be able to help out these women in crisis on their very special holiday.

Hope to hear back from you! E-mail me at or text or call me at 868-5712. I hope to get both days filled!

Wendy Weissman


Air Fryer Latkes
Ten Deep-fried Jewish Foods You Need To Try
Healthy Kosher recipes you can make with an air fryer
Fifty Best Kosher Air Fryer Recipes


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
May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and may we be a comfort to all who are bereaved.

Name of
Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
Heidi Jan Berger 26 Tamuz, 5779 Ex-wife of Tom Berger, Wife of William Franklin Raley, Mother of Polly Lorien and Jake Berger
Blanche Stoll Gulko 9 Tamuz, 5779 Mother of Rabbi Ruz Gulko
Bill Hinton 4 Nisan, 5779 Husband of Susan Hinton
Roger Reichert 11 Adar I, 5779 Son of Arlyne Reichert
Queenie Crombie 3 Cheshvan, 5753 Mother of Arleen Heintzelman
Nathan Rapaport 9 Cheshvan, 5686 Grandfather of Nadyne Weissman
Vicki Sherick Hawkesworth 9 Cheshvan, 5774 Daughter of Jack and Diane Sherick
Martin Renne 16 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Michael Renne
Celia Ross 22 Cheshvan, 5733 Great-grandmother of Cece Drew
Norman Handler 22 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Wendy Weissman
Marvin Langsam 23 Cheshvan, 5774 Brother of Helen Cherry
Leonard Weissman 29 Cheshvan, 5768 Grandfather of David Weissman, father of Jeff Weissman, Patricia Philipps, Ted Weissman, Sally Weissman and Gale Rietmann


This is a reminder about the lay services led by Devorah Werner the first Friday of the month, November 1, at 6:00 P.M. at the Bethel, with a milchig (dairy) potluck to follow.

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.


It’s that time of year again… time to get excited for another incredible Shabbat Project experience! This November 15-16 2019, Shabbat Parshat Vayeira, Jews from all walks of life will come together to keep one Shabbat, and we’d love for you to be a part of it.

Join The Shabbat Project’s global movement to renew family and community life, restore Jewish identity and unite Jews worldwide.
Join the Global Movement

The Shabbat Project in numbers

  • In 2013, the year the project first began, one country and seven cities participated in The Shabbat Project.
  • In 2014, we reached 460 cities.
  • In 2015, we reached 919 cities.
  • In 2016, we reached 1,152 cities.
  • In 2017, we reached 1,416 cities.
  • In 2018, we reached 1,511 cities.
  • Together, we can make this year’s Shabbat the best one yet.
  • Join us.


    Here is a link to a fund to help fire victims in CA. Perhaps we can do something through them as a congregation.

    What are concrete ways we can help? I received the following from my colleagues at the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. I believe this is a good start:

    • The Jewish Federation has created a directed fund to support individuals and institutions impacted by the fires. Here is the link to that fund. Please send this out to your community-members so they can contribute. 100 % of the donations will go directly to those who need it.

    • The Federation has also set up a hotline for those in need of housing, counseling, evacuation center information, and emergency loans from our partners at Jewish Free Loan. The hotline number is 323-761-8100.

    • The Federation is opening its valley offices at Ventura and Corbin beginning at 9:00 am tomorrow morning. Representatives from Jewish Family Services and Beit Tzedek are at deToledo High School today and will be at Federation Valley offices tomorrow to assist individuals who have been impacted by the fires.

    • The Federation’s valley offices are also open to organizations or individuals whose office space has been evacuated or destroyed. Please be in touch with Rabbi Ilana Grinblat if you need to use this space.

    Here is a link to a resource on how to talk with and help children cope after a disaster or traumatic event.

    We also encourage you to bring gift cards directly to Temple Akiba. We can then deliver them to organizations that can best use them.


    There are times that life hurts. And we gather with others as much as we can. We hug each other. We cry. We reach in. We question. But most important, we love.

    Rabbi Zach Shapiro

    Temmple Akiba of Culver City
    5249 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
    Culver City, CA 90230
    Rabbi Zachary R. Shapiro | Temple Akiba, Culver City, CA 90230

    Contributed by Helen Cherry


    2018 MAJCo State Capital Chanukah Event & Meeting

    *** Thursday, December 6 ***

    Lighting of community chanukiot and address by the Governor – noon
    (MAJCo meeting to follow in capital conference room to be announced)


    The Montana Association of Jewish Communities (MAJCo) is an umbrella organization that includes representation from Jewish communities across the length and breadth of the great state of Montana. Membership in MAJCo is open to any Jewish community, whatever the “stream,” within Montana. (Acceptance by the current communities is required.)

    Small Jewish communities in rural areas do not exist in a vacuum. Three decades ago, our Jewish communities created MAJCo, an association of all the organized Montana Jewish communities. Through MAJCo, we keep in touch and have created a community throughout this great big beautiful state.

    The Jewish communities in the Big Sky currently include:
    • Congregation Beth Aaron, Billings
    • Chabad Lubavitch of Montana, Bozeman
    • Congregation Beth Shalom, Bozeman
    • Congregation B’nai Israel, Butte
    • Congregation Aitz Chaim, Great Falls
    • Helena Jewish Community, Helena
    • Glacier Jewish Community/B’nai Shalom, Kalispell-Whitefish
    • Chabad Lubavitch of Missoula, Missoula
    • Congregation Har Shalom, Missoula


    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
    May the source of peace send peace to all who mourn, and comfort to all who are bereaved.

    Name of
    English Date of Passing Hebrew Date of Passing Deceased Relationship to
    Dawn M. Schandelson Sep 3, 2018 23 Elul, 5778 Wife of Arny Schandelson, Mother of Brett and Scott Schandelson
    Donald Goldman May 14, 2018 29 Iyyar, 5778 Father of Abby Drew Syrovatka, Grandfather of Cece Drew
    FRANCES WALTMAN Apr 1, 2018 16 Nisan, 5778 Mother of Marjorie Feldman
    Ethel M. Shapiro NOV 1, 2016 30 TISHREI, 5777 Aunt of Terry Thal
    Leonard Weissman Nov 10, 2007 29 Cheshvan, 5768 Grandfather of David Weissman, father of Jeff Weissman, Patricia Philipps, Ted Weissman, Sally Weissman and Gale Rietmann.
    Martin Renne Nov 14, 2000 16 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Michael Renne
    Dr. Daniel Foxman Nov 19, 2001 4 Kislev, 5762 Father of Marty Foxman
    Norman Handler Nov 20, 2000 22 Cheshvan, 5761 Father of Wendy Weissman


    The second Yahrzeit (anniversary of the passing) of Leonard Cohen, one of the greatest Jewish poet-songwriters of the 20th century, was observed on October 27th, 2018.

    As a tribute to his legacy, here is one of his most famous songs, Hallelujah, with the Hebrew lyrics of Psalm 150 which is recited daily in Jewish prayer.

    May the memory of Leonard Cohen be for an eternal blessing.

    Cantor Azi Schwartz of Park Avenue Synagogue
    Arrangement: Raymond Goldstein
    Music Director: Colin Fowler
    Cello: Alexander Scheirele
    Production Manager: Gil Smuskowitz
    Recording engineer and audio editing: Doug Yoel