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.
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
With immense Gratitude to Almighty G-d we are pleased to announce the arrival of our baby Chana Laya!
Chana Laya has a registry at babylist and in Bozeman at Baby Logic at the mall or online
We are very excited to welcome this new addition to our family and look forward to raising her to Torah, Chupah and good deeds.
May we collectively share in happy occasions together.
Rabbi Chaim, Chavie, Shoshana, Chaya, Zeesy and Menny
Isaiah Envisions a Museum!
By Rabbi Chaim
I guess you can call it good planning on my part; hiking the M for the very first time on Sunday, meeting amazing trekkers along the way. It allowed me to see how wonderful humanity truly is, despite the horrifying news that we received from Charlottesville after Shabbos. It’s hard to believe the word Nazi is still associated with living beings, it’s even harder to accept that there are those who hate others based on their skin color, religion, lifestyle or philosophical outlook. It is no coincidence that, although Chavie has been meticulously planning this launch since January, it was the week of August 14 that was chosen to announce the campaign to build The Holocaust Museum of Montana. Never Again, means Never Again; is that so hard to comprehend?
Tonight, is Shabbos Mevarchim, in which we bless the upcoming month of Elul. It is during this month, during the weeks leading up to the High Holy Days, that we take stock of our past year, we seek to return to our Creator with healthy introspection, small positive changes and unbridled enthusiasm to rock on into the New Year. In the Haftorah that we’ll read in Shul from our Prophet Isaiah, we are consoled “O poor tempestuous one, who was not consoled, behold I will set your stones with carbuncle, and I will lay your foundations with sapphires. And I will make your windows of jasper and your gates of carbuncle stones, and all your border of precious stones. And all your children shall be disciples of the Lord, and your children’s peace shall increase. With righteousness shall you be established, go far away from oppression, for you shall not fear, and from ruin, for it will not come near you. Behold, the one with whom I am not, shall fear, whoever mobilizes against you shall defect to you”.
We, the Jewish community, must not fall into the trap of fighting hatred with even more hatred. We must do everything in our power to uproot Nazism from these United States, but at the same time, we must ask ourselves, privately, am I REALLY helping America? Am I contributing love and peace to our country or am I, perhaps, doing the exact opposite? Elul, is days away, and it’s time to converse with our souls. I’m not a constitutional lawyer and I don’t understand exactly what free speech is and what it isn’t, but I do know how Chaim Bruk could choose to speak, I do know how Chaim Bruk can choose to see things, I do know how Chaim Bruk can be a better person. If I shine light, you shine light and everyone else shines light, the darkness will have a rough time and that is the goal.
Think it’s impossible? Daryl David disagrees!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Chabad Lubavitch of Montana for the fourth Montana Jewish Retreat!
May 9-10, 2014 @
the El Western Cabins and Lodges in Ennis, Montana.
• Great accommodations in every price range (If you can’t find a room that fits your needs at the El Western, the Rainbow Valley Lodge is next door)
• Special Guest Speakers: Rabbi Chaim & Rivkie Block of San Antonio, TX.
• Fantastic food
• Fabulous Farbrengens
• Lectures & Discussions
• Special Kids Programs
Call the El Western today to reserve your lodging: 406 682-4217 and tell them you’re with Chabad.
Do you need a Mezuzah for your home or office? Want to chat with a Rabbi about something? Need a dose of Torah?
I will be G-d willing visiting cities around the State on the following days:
Tuesday, May 28 – Missoula
Wednesday, May 29 – Kalispell/Whitefish
Sunday, June 2 – Helena/Great Falls
Let me know if you you’d like a visit or anything else.
( If you signed up for a free Mezuzah, I will be calling you, no need to email again)
Rabbi Chaim Bruk
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rabbi Chaim Bruk is the Chabad Lubavitch rabbi in Bozeman, where he lives with his wife Chavie and their three children, Chaya, Zeesy, and Menny. He reminds us that to know the Torah and to live the Torah is to choose life itself. As we look forward to the annual celebration of Shavuot next week, let’s begin to become more familiar with the Torah and what it teaches us even now, starting tonight. Reprinted with permission.
Torah Iz Dee Beste S’chorah!
By Rabbi Chaim
While Chavie and the Women’s League of Chabad were enjoying their pre-Rosh-Chodesh get together and chatting about the Sinai moment, I was upstairs thinking about Torah study. In an average week I merit to study unadulterated Torah with countless individuals. With one it’s the Prophets and with another Talmud, with one it’s Miamondoes’ principles of faith and with many others it’s JLI’s fascinating courses and our group classes throughout the week. Chavie and I enjoy immensely being able to enjoy Torah with whoever wishes to broaden their knowledge.
Tuesday evening will usher in the holiday of Shavuot, when we celebrate the pinnacle moment of Jewish history. In front of more than two million living Jews and the spirit of every soul to ever live, G-d handed us His most precious treasure, the wisdom of all wisdom, His Torah. He didn’t have to, but He chose to; giving us an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Him. Shavuot is our annual reminder to incorporate daily, or at least weekly, Torah study in our lives, because a life without it, is no life.
The Talmud teaches: Once, the wicked government of Rome decreed that the Jewish people were forbidden to study Torah. Pappus ben Judah saw Rabbi Akiva convening gatherings in public and studying Torah with them. Said he to him: “Akiva, are you not afraid of the government?” Said Rabbi Akiva to him: “I’ll give you a parable. “A fox was walking along a river and saw fish rushing to and fro. Said he to them: ‘Why are you fleeing?’ “Said they to him: ‘The nets that the humans spread for us.'”Said he to them: ‘Why don’t you come out onto the dry land? We’ll live together, as my ancestors lived with your ancestors.'”Said they to him: ‘Are you the one of whom it is said that you are the wisest of animals? You’re not wise, but foolish! If, in our environment of life, we have cause for fear, how much more so in the environment of our death!’ “The same applies to us: if, now, when we sit and study the Torah, of which it is said ( Deuteronomy 30:20 ), For it is your life and the lengthening of your days, such is our situation, how much more so if we neglect it….
Make a resolution this Shavuot to begin a Torah class, to join five other Montanans to study your daily Chayenu, to have a one-on-one with a fellow Jew – or even the Rabbi – in Torah; whatever it is, make Torah real. Don’t just rise for it in Shul, kiss it as it makes it’s rounds or dance with it on Simchat Torah, allow it to permeate your heart, soul and day to day life.
As the Yiddish song goes Torah Iz Dee Beste S’chorah – Torah is the greatest asset!
Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom & a Happy Shavuot!
Your friends @ Chabad Lubavitch,
Rabbi Chaim, Chavie, Chaya, Zeesy and Menny
It’s that time of year again – planning summer for your kids. This year, we are pleased to announce that Congregation Beth Shalom will again be hosting a summer camp for youth 11-18. Please forward this email on to other parents I might have missed.
August 13-17 is for young people 11-18 and is open to youths all over Montana. Jenny Rassaby is coordinating this camp, which is designed for an older group of Jewish kids, providing them with an enriching opportunity to meet with peers, learn more about their Jewish culture, heritage and traditions and have fun! Participants from outside Bozeman will stay with their Beth Shalom peers and their families. For more information, and to register, contact Jenny Rassaby at email@example.com, or phone 406 579 3846.
The camp is $175 for the week, including food and other costs.
Registration forms are attached. Forms are due to Beth Shalom by July 1.
Camp Signup form: BSyouthcamp_signup_form_2012