Category Archives: December

MONTANA LAWMAKERS WRITE LETTER TO CONDEMN ATTACKS ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BY ANTISEMITES

EDITOR’S NOTE: I usually don’t publish articles of a political nature, but I thought this is too important not to include in the newsletter.

December 28, 2016

Dear Fellow Americans,

As we close out this year and look toward the future, we as Montana’s elected leaders are focused on the values that reflect our true character. Therefore, we condemn attacks on our religious freedom manifesting in a group of anti-Semites.
We stand firmly together to send a clear message that ignorance, hatred and threats of violence are unacceptable and have no place in the town of Whitefish, or in any other community in Montana or across this nation. We say to those few who seek to publicize anti-Semitic views that they shall find no safe haven here.

We offer our full support to the Jewish community, Montana families, businesses, faith organizations and law enforcement officers as they ensure the security of all our communities. We will address these threats directly and forcefully, putting our political differences aside to stand up for what’s right. That’s the Montana way, and the American way.

Rest assured, any demonstration or threat of intimidation against any Montanan’s religious liberty will not be tolerated. It takes all Montanans working together to eradicate religious intolerance.

We are encouraged that so many Montanans from a variety of religious backgrounds have joined us in condemning this extreme ideology.

God bless the great state of Montana and the United States of America.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester
U.S. Senator Steve Daines
U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke
Governor Steve Bullock
Attorney General Tim Fox

FILL THE ROOM

Great Falls City Commission to Issue Public Statement against White Supremacist Activity in Montana

Please Come Out in Support!

For the past few months, Whitefish and Missoula have seen a significant rise of white supremacist activity in their areas, specifically targeting Jewish communities and the human rights group Love Lives Here, an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network.

In response to this activity, the Great Falls City Commission will be issuing a public statement of support at its next meeting to stand in solidarity with these communities while denouncing hate and bigotry in the city and state.

Please come out in support of this public statement! Stand with the City Commission in showing that we will not allow hate in our communities!

When: Tuesday, January 3rd at 7:00pm
Where: Commission Chamber at the Great Falls Civic Center (2 Park Dr. South, Room #206) Supporters please sit as close to the front of the room as possible. This event will be televised.

WHAT IS MAJCO?

What Is MAJCo?

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. Almost three decades ago, the Jewish communities throughout the state 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

Anyone wishing to be on the MAJCo email list may contact Brian Schnitzer at bschnitzer3@msn.com.

WHITEFISH CELEBRATES HANUKKAH IN SPITE OF HARASSMENT — NPR

http://mtpr.org/post/whitefish-celebrates-hanukkah-spite-harassment

CHANUKKAH

Chanukkah
begins at sunset on Saturday December 24, 2016, and continues through nightfall on Sunday January 1, 2017. The first candle is lit the night of 12/24. The last candle is lit the night of 12/31.

JewFAQ: Answering Jewish Frequently Asked Questions for more than two decades!

NOTICE

Tuesday, December 20, 20 Kislev, at 11:30 am at Har Shalom: “Missoula Menorah: A Light in Every Window” launch with Mayor, Sheriff, and area faith leaders.

This is a response to the hate literature being distributed around Missoula by the American Nazi Party, and its a message that Missoula opposes hate activities. The Missoulian will publish a menorah image for people to clip and display.

REMEMBER WHEN?

These are some of the fabulous Jewish Comedians that you may remember, the old Jewish Catskill comics of Vaudeville days:

  • Shecky Greene
  • Red Buttons
  • Totie Fields
  • Joey Bishop
  • Milton Berle
  • Jan Murray
  • Danny Kaye
  • Henny Youngman
  • Buddy Hackett
  • Sid Caesar
  • Groucho Marx
  • Jackie Mason
  • Victor Borge
  • Woody Allen
  • Joan Rivers
  • Lenny Bruce
  • George Burns
  • Allan Sherman
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Peter Sellers
  • Carl Reiner
  • Shelley Berman
  • Gene Wilder
  • Georgie Jessel
  • Alan King
  • Mel Brooks
  • Phil Silvers
  • Jack Carter
  • Rodney Dangerfield
  • Don Rickles
  • Jack Benny
  • Mansel Rubenstein
  • and so many others.

And there was not one single swear word in their comedy. Here are a few examples:

* I just got back from a pleasure trip. I took my mother-in-law to the airport.

* I’ve been in love with the same woman for 49 years! If my wife ever finds out, she’ll kill me!

* We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

* My wife and I went back to the hotel where we spent our wedding night; only this time I stayed in the bathroom and cried.

* My wife and I went to a hotel where we got a waterbed. My wife called it the Dead Sea.

* She was at the beauty shop for two hours. That was only for the estimate. She got a mudpack and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.

* The Doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn’t pay his bill so the doctor gave him another six months.

* The Doctor called Mrs. Cohen, saying, “Mrs. Cohen, your check came back.” Mrs. Cohen answered, “So did my arthritis!”

* Doctor: “You’ll live to be 60!” Patient: “I am 60!” Doctor: “See!… What did I tell you?”

* Patient: “I have a ringing in my ears.” Doctor: “Don’t answer!”

* A drunk was in front of a judge. The judge said, “You’ve been brought here for drinking.” The drunk retorted, “Okay, let’s get started.”

* Why do Jewish divorces cost so much? They’re worth it.

* The Harvard School of Medicine did a study of why Jewish women like Chinese food so much. The study revealed that this is due to the fact that Won Ton spelled backward is Not Now.

* There is a big controversy on the Jewish view of when life begins. In Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until it graduates from medical school.

Submitted by Helen Cherry

HANNUKAH TERMS, BY RABBI RUZ GULKO

Hannukah

In Hebrew Hanukah means “dedication.” In the years prior to 164 BCE, the Seleucid Empire (Syrian-Greeks) took over the Temple in Jerusalem, defiling it with pagan worship. When the Maccabees recaptured the Temple in 164 BCE , they ritually cleansed and rededicated it for Jewish worship once again. To mark this triumph, Hannukah was established as an 8-day national holiday, beginning on the 25th day of Kislev. The word Hannukah is also related to the Hebrew word for “education.” It is transliterated in many ways, including Hanukkah, Chanukkah, Hannukah and Channukah.

Menorah

A 7-branched candelabrum, literally: “lamp”. The Torah gives specific instructions for how the Menorah was to be made and tended, and its light was to come from the purest olive oil. It is the oldest surviving symbol of Judaism. The golden Menorah that was made in the Desert stood inside the ancient Temple in Jerusalem . After the Maccabean victory, the Menorah was rekindled and rededicated. After the Second Temple’s destruction, and the seizure of the golden Menorah by the Romans in 70 CE, the menorah became a symbol of Jewish survival and continuity. The State of Israel has it as its emblem, and today it is a symbol often found in Jewish art and synagogue décor around the world.

Hanuki’yah

This is a special kind of menorah used only during Hannukah, with branches or spaces for 9 candles -one for each of the 8 nights plus one for the “shammash” (see below). Hanuki’yot (plural) can be found today in a wide variety of designs, shapes, colors & materials. Traditionally, there are eight individual places for candles or flames all on the same level, far enough apart so as not to merge into a single flame. Jewish law stipulates that the 8 candles are not to be used for any practical purposes. They are not meant to be a light source for us to work by, but rather they are to be enjoyed for their beauty and as a reminder of the Hannukah miracles. The flames must last at least 30 minutes. While olive oil and wicks were used for centuries, today candles are typically used, though many Jews use oil and wicks to honor past traditions.

Shammash

A “service” or utilitarian candle, called the “shammash,” is used to light the other candles on each of the 8 nights of Hannukah. It is lit first, then the brachot (blessings) are said or chanted, and then it’s used to light each of the other candles. The space for the shammash candle is set apart, above or below the other flames, to distinguish its status.

Maccabees

In 167 BCE, after the Seleucid king Antiochus issued decrees in Judea forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modi’in – Mattithias the Hasmonean – sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek Gods. His son Judah, along with Judah’s 4 brothers, led an army of Jewish dissidents using guerrilla tactics to defeat the Seleucids in a military victory of the few over the many. Judah’s famous nickname was “Maccabee,” which means “hammer,” likely a reference to his military prowess. It may also be an acronym for the Torah verse attributed to Mattithias at the beginning of the revolt: “Mi Hamokha Ba’elim Adonai?” “Who is like You, Eternal, among the mighty? (lit: other gods)”

Dreidel (Yiddish) / Se’vivon (Hebrew)

A 4-sided spinning top. Both terms are related to the word “spin”. The dreidel or sevivon has a letter on each of its 4 sides: Nuhn, Gimmel, Hay, Sheen. These letters stand for “Nes Gadol Hayah Shahm” – A great miracle occurred there. This is a reference to the Talmudic legend describing the miracle of consecrated oil burning for 8 days when there was only enough to last for one. In Israel the sevivon has a different 4th letter, Peh, corresponding to the phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah POH” – A great miracle occurred HERE! The dreidel is used in low-stakes gambling games during Hannukah, involving pennies, M & M’s, nuts or raisins as tokens. It’s traditional to play for at least as long as the Hannukah flames are burning.

Latke (Yiddish) / Le’vivah (Hebrew)

The Ashkenazic (Eastern European) holiday treat is a savory potato pancake fried in oil. It is traditionally served with sour cream and/or apple sauce. Some people prefer them plump and golden, others insist that the thin, crispy variety is superior. In addition, we have the Sephardic (Spanish) treat: Sufganiot, donuts fried in oil with sweet fillings. These are especially popular today in Israel.

Gelt

Yiddish for “gold “or “money.” Traditionally small coins were given to kids by grandparents or other relatives, as a token gift or to use while playing dreidel. Today, candy companies make a foil-covered chocolate version.

An important note here is that Hannukah is a minor holiday, and not a main gift-giving occasion. The Jewish festivals of Rosh HaShanah and Purim were the traditional times for gifts.

Hug Ureem Sa’me’ah – A Joyous Festival of Lights!

The traditional greeting/blessing we say to each other during Hannukah.

NEWS OF ELLIOTT MAGALNICK

If you would like to find out how Elliott Magalnick is doing after his stroke, and perhaps send him a message, please go to www.caringbridge.org.

NEWS OF BILL HINTON

Bill Hinton, who is battling cancer, had a bad fall this last weekend. He broke his hip and is currently in ICU at the hospital in Mississippi. He will be going to a rehab facility after he leaves the ICU. I am sure that Bill and Susan would appreciate thoughts and well wishes from their friends in Montana.