Category Archives: May, 2011


By Janet Tatz

Hadassah is an organization which supports the Hadassah hospitals in Israel, Young Judaea, a Jewish youth movement in the United States and around the world, medical research, women’s health, education, and much more

The statewide Hadassah Shabbaton will be held the weekend of June 17th-19th at the Ursuline Center, 2300 Central Avenue, in Great Falls.  The theme for the weekend is healthy Women, Healthy Lives.  We will have Friday night Shabbat services, a Torah study on Saturday morning, a silent auction,  meals to share and an all around good time.  All current or potential members of Hadassah are encouraged to attend.  The registration form for the Hadassah Shabbaton is available here, please click on the link and register! Read the rest of this entry


Join Chabad Lubavitch of Montana for our second annual Montana Jewish Retreat!
May 27-29 @ the El Western Cabins and Lodges in Ennis, Montana.
· Great accommodations in every price range
· Special Guest Speakers: Rabbi Chaim & Rivkie Block of San Antonio, TX.
Topics include: From Sinai to Cyberspace, Torah – Owning the Gift, The AngelicDual
· Fantastic food
· Full Kids program
· Fabulous Farbrengens
· Lectures & Discussions
More details to come!
Call the El Western today to reserve your lodging: 406 682-4217 and tell them you’re with Chabad.

For more information, visit

Lag B’Omer Adult Discussion, Fleshig (meat) Potluck and BONFIRE

As we read below, it is traditional to have a bonfire during Lag B’Omer to celebrate the immense light that was brought into this world by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.  Well, this Boy Scout thinks that a nice fire and BBQ will be a great way for Aitz Chaim to commemorate the holiday.

On Saturday, May 21, we will have Adult Discussion at my home, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  I’ll light a nice fire in my firepit, and the shish kebab recipies that Joy noted in her article sound like a great companion.

Oh, we also read that it is traditional to commemorate the holiday with bows and arrows.  I’ll set up a range in the backyard!

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, May 21 at 5:30 p.m. for our potluck and adult discussion!


Shabbaton is a Hebrew term which may loosely be translated into English to mean Sabbatical.  In recent times, a sabbatical has come to mean any extended absence in the career of an individual.  Sometimes a Shabbaton has come to mean a program of education and celebration focused on the Shabbat.

Every year, the Jewish Communities of Montana set aside one weekend to meet, pray, sing, eat and recreate together.  This year BET HARIM is proud to be hosting this event at the Sanctuary Retreat Center in Kila, Montana, the week end of July 15-17. Please make plans to join us in beautiful Glacier Park for a gathering of all of Montana’s Jewish communities.
ACCOMODATIONS: Stay in Montana-style cottages, bunk houses, tents on platforms, or teepees, or bring your own tent.
Motels in Kalispell available.
MEALS: Gourmet vegetarian food to accomodate Kosher and other dietary preferences.

1) Shabbat evening service and meal at the Sanctuary
2) Saturday in Glacier Park – catered lunch, hiking
3) Havdallah at the Sanctuary followed by a bonfire and music;
4) Sunday MAJCO meeting and speakers.
Guest Speaker:  Rabbi David Saperstein (Voted #3 Most Influential Rabbi in US)
Torah Portion:  Behar (Leviticus 25:1-26:2)

Registration information is available here!

Please contact Josh Burnim or phone 406.579.8050 with any questions.


Todah Robah to the following people for hosting Aitz Chaim and Cantor Elliott:
Airport Pick up: Marty Foxman
home hospitality & Friday dinner: Don & Helen Cherry
oneg: Aaron & Wendy Weissman
Saturday lunch: Meriam Nagel and the Breslauers, who missed connections with him last time  

Pesach 2011

We had a great time at our annual second night Pesach Seder! Enjoy the photos.

What if there IS a GOD?

By Cantorial Soloist Elliott Ben Magalnick
April 27, 2011

And GOD invented mathematics and philosophy and physics and then botany and biology and chemistry and GOD in his infinite wisdom tested these theories in GODS’ laboratory that we call the universe.  GOD evolved different life forms and tested them in different parts of the universe and then GOD figured out the need for a SUN …or many suns.   (We will focus our story to one sun to simplify the explanation.)

Our universe was GODS’ laboratory. GOD stuck a sun in the middle and he gave it gravity. He needed the gravity to maintain solar order and control. With the sun and its gravitational pull and its intensely hot energy, GOD put in accessories to the sun. GOD scattered them in all directions and distances but they all had one thing in common: they reacted to the sun and its’ gravitational pull.  They were not uniform with each other in size and structure but they all revolved around the sun with its gravitational pull.

Then GOD needed a counterforce or counter energy to the sun and its’ fire. So, GOD developed water.  Over many, many millennia GOD tried to figure out where in the suns’ influence he could make water viable to harness it and use it as life force and a counter force to the fire on the sun.

We have named some of the suns’ colonies with names such as Mars, Venus, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.  GOD tested these colonies for their viability and their ability to function in the capacity that GOD predicted. Lab testing this whole menagerie of planets under the conditions GOD initiated found that some of the planets were too close to the sun and his water burned into a gas that could not be harnessed to maintain a pattern of development. He tried some of the planets very distant from the sun and the water was too low in temperature and become functionally inert. GODS’ testing determined that Earth was an ideal distance to keep water in a functional form, a form he called liquid. But further testing of Earth determined that GOD could spin Earth, move it, rotate it and do things with it so that it could support liquids, solids and gases. So Earth was it. Earth became GODS’ laboratory and testing station.

Then, HE began with physics and astronomy. His laboratory could support life so he invented chemistry and botany and biology. As the fruits of these disciplines developed, GOD added more. He started small: atoms, amoeba, single cells, complex cells, cells that could divide, cells that could find other cells and mate and reproduce more cells.  GOD found that Earth was a good breeding ground for these progressions and he started developing them into larger, more complex structures.  He had his liquid covering the whole surface of the Earth and he had gravity to keep it staying on the surface. The liquid was not enough. As important as it was, he needed more.

GOD created turbulence in the core of the Earth and some of the solid core broke free and pierced the surface of this liquid. GOD started small but kept at it and these contractions appeared in different areas and thus land appeared. Some land was flat and some was rocky and more elevated. These protuberances we call land became the breeding ground for living organisms to grow and live away from the water. As the organisms began to thrive on land others evolved in the sea.  Organisms that grew up from the land or under the land provided botany and chemistry disciplines. As they developed, biology became a factor as larger life forms evolved. Not all grew from the ground. Some life forms could travel across the land or through the water.  The products of GODS’ biology started sustaining themselves off GODS’ botany. Soon some of these species started eating smaller species. GOD developed a food chain.

GOD worked many of what we call years, millions of these years to develop an organism that could harness the scientific theories that were GODS’ tools of creation.  One of these species was called the HUMAN. GOD gave humans the ability to think and develop his specialties. GOD did not throw it to humans all at once. He put it out there with hints and systems so that humans could eventually figure it out for themselves.  To complicate matters (for humans) or rather to make it more interesting for GOD; HE put in alternate disciplines to pursue.  GOD invented Philosophy, love, Religion, language, and emotion.  Religion was introduced to Humans about 5800 years ago to make those humans who figured out the sciences that they did not do it on their own.  They took what GOD used as his tools and made it their own.  Religion was GODS’ way of defining science!


From Our President

By Laura Weiss

It’s a busy Jewish month for the Great Falls Hebrew Association. Our Jewish weekend is May 20 to 22. Since the weekend falls on Lag B’omer, we will be having a bonfire at the home of Wendy and Aaron Weissman on Saturday evening to mark the occasion. May 25 there will be a Soul Train event. Dr. Dror Eydar, Ph.D., a lecturer in Literature, Jewish thought and History, will be in Great Falls to give a lecture and musical performance. And on Sunday May 22, there will be a GFHA board meeting at 3pm at the old Washington school, 1015 1st Avenue North.

This upcoming board meeting is an important one. As many of you know, because of the shrinking size of our community, we will need to change the way we schedule events through the year. We can no longer afford to bring a service leader to Great Falls on a monthly basis. We will need to be creative in our scheduling and in how we stay engaged and cohesive as a community. As always, the board needs to hear from the rest of the community so we can be responsive to your needs and make choices that shape our future guided by your input. If you cannot attend the meeting, talk to a board member to make sure your voice is heard.


By Helen Cherry

Each year several churches collect diapers on Mother’s Day, diaper Sunday, to distribute to St. Vincent de Paul.  For many years, Aitz Chaim has supported this most worthwhile endeavor. Please bring contributions of diapers or funds to purchase diapers to either services Friday May 20 or the Lag B’Omer celebration at the Weissman’s Saturday May 21. Either Helen Cherry or Meriam Nagel will make sure the funds or diapers are collected and distributed to the intended recipients.  Your donations will be much appreciated, even if they are 2 weeks late.


Abe and Esther are flying to Australia for a two week vacation to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Suddenly, over the public address system, the Captain announces, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid I have some very bad news. Our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency landing. Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued and will have to live on the island for the rest of our lives.”

Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island.

An hour later Abe turns to his wife and asks, “Esther, did we pay our charity pledge check to the Synagogue yet?”

“No, sweetheart,” she responds.

Abe, still shaken from the crash landing, then asks, “Esther, did we pay our United Jewish Appeal pledge?

“Oy, no! I’m sorry. I forgot to send the check,” she says.

One last thing, Esther. Did you remember to send a check for the Synagogue Building Fund this month?,” he asks.

“Oy, forgive me, Abie,” begged Esther. “I didn’t send that one, either.”

Abe grabs her and gives her the biggest hug and kiss in 40 years. Esther pulls away and asks him, ” So, why did you kiss me?”

Abe answers, “They’ll find us.”