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A YOM KIPPUR MESSAGE and a new version of kol nidrei from eretz yisrael

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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.


Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

  • Friday evening, 09/29/2017, 7:00 P.M.: Kol Nidre, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko, at The Bethel.


  • Saturday, 09/30/2017, 10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.: Yom Kippur Morning Services led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko at the Bethel.
  • Saturday afternoon, 09/30/2017, 12:00-3:00 P.M.: Break
  • Saturday afternoon, 09/30/2017, 3:00-4:00 P.M.: Discussion.
  • Saturday afternoon, 09/30/2017, 4:30-5:30 P.M.: Yizkor.
  • Saturday afternoon, 09/30/2017, 5:30-6:15 P.M.: Neilah.
  • Saturday evening, 09/30/2017, 6:30 P.M.: Break the Fast Potluck, traditionally dairy (milchig.) Please bring a dish to share.

The address for the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue Southwest. click here for map and directions.


Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Rabbi Ruz Gulko:

  • Tuesday, 09/22/2015: Airport pickup for Rabbi Ruz Gulko: Marty foxman
  • Tuesday, 09/22/2015: Dinner hosts for Rabbi Ruz Gulko: Don and Helen Cherry


Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

Kol Nidre

Tuesday evening, 09/22/2015, 7:00 P.M.: Kol Nidre, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko, at the YWCA.

Yom Kippur day schedule

  • Wednesday, 09/23/2015, 10:00 A.M.: Yom Kippur Morning services, led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko at the YWCA, followed by a break.
  • Wednesday afternoon, 09/23/2015, 3:00 P.M.: Discussion.
  • Wednesday afternoon, 09/23/2015, After Discussion: Prepare the room for Break The Fast — set up tables, etc.
  • Wednesday afternoon, 09/23/2015, 5:00 P.M.: Yizkor
  • Wednesday afternoon, 09/23/2015, 5:30-6:15 P.M.: Neilah
  • Wednesday evening, 09/23/2015, 6:30 P.M.: Break the Fast Potluck, traditionally dairy (milchig.)
  • The space at the Bethel is temporarily unavailable due to site renovation. The address of the YWCA is 220 Second Street North.

    As is Aitz Chaim tradition, and since we are fasting, please pay it forward and bring nonperishable food items to Yom Kippur services for the Great Falls Food Bank. Helen will collect and distribute the food items. Thank you, everyone.

    Helen also has the sign-up sheet for what to bring for Break
    The Fast. You may contact her at 727-2572 or or bring something without signing up. We have enough fruit/vegetables/drinks; we need salads, hot dishes, or dessert. We could also use bread/bagels/chips with spreads. This is a traditionally Milchig (dairy) meal. Thank you in advance for all you do for the Aitz Chaim community.


May You Have an Easy Fast!

Aitz Chaim Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur Schedule

As we draw to an end of the Days of Awe, we prepare for Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur. We hope to see you at our services, which will all be at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner

Kol Nidre services will begin at 7pm on 9/13/13 at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner. Sarah Weissman will be our cantorial soloist for the Kol Nidre.

• Yom Kippur morning services will begin at 10 am on 9/14/13 at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner.
• A discussion on Yom Kippur will be held at 3pm.
• Yizkor service will begin at 4:30pm
• Ne’ila service will begin at 5:30 pm
• A community potluck (milchig) break the fast meal will follow the conclusion of Ne’ila services. Please contact Helen Cherry to sign up for the potluck.

Mark your Calendars for Upcoming Services and Events…

  • MAJCO Shabbaton, October 4-6 at Congregation Har Shalom in Missoula

  • Aitz Chaim Services for October, 2013: Weekend of October 11-13, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner

  • Chanukah: 11/27 – 12/5. Watch your email and for more information!

  • Bar Mitzvah of Max Weissman, Saturday, December 28. Contact Aaron and Wendy Weissman for more information.


Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner during Yom Kippur.

Airport Pickup: Marty Foxman
Dinner host for Erev Yom Kippur: Don and Helen Cherry


  • Friday evening, 09/13/13, 7:00 P.M.: Kol Nidre Services led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner at The Bethel. Cantorial Soloist: Sarah Weissman.
  • Saturday morning, 09/14/2013, 10:00 A.M. — 12:00 P.M.: Yom Kippur Morning Services, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner at The Bethel
  • 12:00 P.M. — 3:00 P.M.: 3 hour break
  • 3:00 P.M. — 4:00 P.M.: Discussion about Yom Kippur, led by Student Rabbi Bess Wohlner
  • 4:00 P.M. — 4:30 P.M.: 1/2 hour break
  • 4:30 P.M. — 5:30 P.M.: Yiskor
  • 5:30 P.M. — 6:15 P.M.: Ne’ila
  • 6:30 P.M.: Break The Fast milchig (dairy) Community Potluck
  • The address of the Bethel is 1009 18th Avenue southwest. Click here for map and directions.

    Yom Kippur Food Donation Results

    Helen Cherry led us in a great program this Yom Kippur; to make a donation of the food we did not eat while fasting.

    Well, the results are in.  Over Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur, our congregants donated 65 pounds of food, which was all delivered to the Great Falls Food Bank.

    Todah Robah to all for your generosity!

    The Segal Guide to Fasting on Yom Kippur

    Fasting for Yom Kippur (From a Medical Perspective)

    Michael M. Segal MD PhD

    “… a very good site, perhaps even essential … extremely useful hints and tips … should be taken seriously by just about everyone except the most determined masochist.” The Jerusalem Post, 10 October 1997.

    Each year on Yom Kippur, Jews wish each other a khatima tova (a good seal in the Book of Life) and tolerable fast. The route to a khatima tova is beyond the scope of this article; the route to an easy fast is simpler to describe. The following are the essentials of human physiology that will help you have a tolerable fast on Yom Kippur:

    Don’t get thirsty:

    Most people think the difficulty about fasting is feeling “hungry”. However, avoiding thirst is much more important for how you feel. Not only do you avoid the discomfort of thirst but you are also well hydrated and swallow frequently, so your stomach does not feel as empty.
    One important way to remain well hydrated is to avoid drinks or foods that cause your body to get rid of water. Such foods and drinks include alcohol, tea, caffeinated coffee and chocolate. Another important rule is to avoid consuming much salt. Salt causes a person to feel thirsty despite having a “normal” amount of water, because extra water is needed for the extra salt. For this reason you should avoid processed foods containing lots of salt such as pickles, cold cuts, or cheese. Most tomato sauces, canned fish and smoked fish have a lot of added salt. Since Kosher meat has a high salt content it may be best to choose a main course such as fresh fish, canned no-salt tuna fish or a de-salted meat such as boiled chicken.

    By avoiding these types of foods and drinks in the several hours before a fast, you can avoid either losing water or needing extra water. Other actions that cause the body to lose water, such as perspiring in warm clothing, should also be avoided during the fast.

    Don’t start the pre-fast meal on a full stomach:

    The pre-fast meal often begins at 5 PM, so a large lunch could prevent you from eating enough immediately before the fast. It is best to have a small lunch, or no lunch at all. A large breakfast early in the day based on cereals, breads and fruits can provide the energy you need during the day, yet these high-fiber foods will be far downstream by the time of the pre-fast meal and will not keep you from eating enough food at the pre-fast meal. A large breakfast is also helpful because it stretches the stomach. After eating breakfast, it is best to consume beverages during the day. This will not fill you up, since liquids are absorbed quickly, and this will ensure that you have absorbed enough fluids during the day to start the pre-fast meal being well hydrated. Be sure to avoid beverages with alcohol or caffeine. You should also drink at least two glasses of fluids with the pre-fast meal because many foods need extra water to be digested properly.

    Eat foods that are digested slowly:

    Include some foods high in oils and fats in the pre-fast meal, since such foods delay emptying of the stomach and effectively prolong your meal. However, beware of fatty meats or salted potato chips that could load you up with too much salt. Salads and other high fiber foods that are so important in one’s normal diet should be de-emphasized for the pre-fast meal since they travel quickly through the digestive system. Fruit, despite its high fiber content, is worthwhile since it carries a lot of water in a “time-release” form.

    Don’t get a headache:

    Withdrawing from caffeine produces a headache in people who drink several cups of coffee a day. If you consume this much caffeine in coffee or other foods or drinks you should prepare yourself for the caffeine-free period by reducing or eliminating caffeine from your diet in the days before Yom Kippur. Don’t try to get through the fast by drinking coffee right before Kol Nidre, since this will cause you to lose a lot of water.

    Make the meal tasty enough so people will eat:

    The pre-fast meal doesn’t have be bland. Spices such as lemon or herbs are fine for fasting, but salt and monosodium glutamate should be reduced as much as possible.

    Don’t do a complete fast if you have certain medical problems:

    People with medical conditions such as diabetes should consult their doctors and rabbis before fasting. Certain medications need to be taken during Yom Kippur, and it is important to swallow them with enough water to avoid pills getting stuck on the way to the stomach and damaging the esophagus. Fasting by women who are pregnant or breast feeding can also be dangerous. If a young person who has not fasted much before has unusual difficulty fasting you should discuss this with your doctor since this happens in some serious metabolic problems in which fasting can be very dangerous.

    Don’t eat improperly after Nei’la:

    Even people who have prepared well for fasting will be hungry after Neila. Be sure not to eat food too quickly at the post-fast meal. Begin the break-fast meal with several glasses of milk or juice: these put sugar into the bloodstream and occupy space in the stomach, discouraging you from eating too rapidly. Also be careful about eating high salt foods such as lox, since you will still be a little dehydrated and will need to drink a lot of fluids to avoid waking up extremely thirsty in the early morning hours.
    These preparations for the fast of Yom Kippur will be different from your normal routine, but they can serve as a concrete reminder of the approaching Day of Atonement.

    An earlier version of this article appeared in the Jewish Advocate (Boston, USA) in 1989. Copyright © 1989 – 2011 Michael M. Segal, MD, PhD. This document may be reproduced freely on a non-profit basis, including electronically, through 2011 as long as the source at is indicated and this copyright notice is included.


    Sheet music:  Kol Nidre

    Image by Center for Jewish History, NYC via Flickr

    All services are led by Cantor Elliott Magalnick

    Friday October 7

    • Kol Nidre services are 7:00 P.M. at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, Great Falls

    Saturday October 8

    • Yom Kippur services begin on Saturday morning, October 8 at 10:00 A.M. at the Bethel, 1009 18th Ave SW, Great Falls.
      • 10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M. Morning Services
      • 12:00 P.M.-2:00 P.M.: 2-hour break
      • 2:00 P.M.-4:00 P.M. Adult Discussion, STORAHtelling on Jonah by Cantor Elliot Magalnick
      • 4:00 P.M.-5:00 P.M.: 1-hour break
      • 5:00 P.M.-5:45 P.M. Yizkor
      • 5:45 P.M.-6:15 P.M. Minhah
      • 6:15 P.M.-7:00 P.M. Neilah
      • Following evening services: Break The Fast milchig (dairy) pot luck.