Blog Archives

PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS FOR THE ANNUAL COMMUNITY PESACH SEDER — APRIL 7, 2018, 23 Nisan, 5778

The annual Aitz Chaim community Seder will be held Saturday evening, April 7, at The O’Haire Motor Inn, 17 7th Street South at 5:30pm. That is in just a few short weeks!

Please get your reservations in ASAP! We need to get the count to the caterer by April 4.

Please send your RSVP to Laura Weiss at weissbill@bresnan.net.
Send your payment to:
Congregation Aitz Chaim
C/O Wendy Weissman, CPA
525 Central Avenue, Suite L8
Great Falls, MT 59401-3271

The meal will include all the traditional fixings and a multi course dinner including matzo ball soup, salad, brisket, chicken, potato, vegetable, and dessert. The cost will be $30 per adult member, and $40 per adult non-member. Children under 13 are half price. A vegetarian main course can be made available upon advance request. The Seder will be led by Rabbi Ruz Gulko.

Payment is expected in advance unless other arrangements have been made. Please be aware you will be responsible for the cost if you do not attend and have not canceled prior to April 4.

Questions? Call Laura at 406-799-9578.

Looking forward to seeing you there

Submitted by GFHA Congregation President Laura Weiss

Advertisements

PESACH IS COMING SOON! PLEASE RSVP ASAP!

The annual Aitz Chaim community Seder will be held Tuesday evening, April 11, at The O’Haire Motor Inn, 17 7th Street South at 5:30pm. That is in just 2 short weeks! Please get your reservations in ASAP! We need to get the count to the caterer by April 6.

Please send your RSVP to Laura Weiss at weissbill@bresnan.net.

The meal will include all the traditional fixings and a multi course dinner including matzo ball soup, salad, brisket, chicken, potato, vegetable, and dessert. Cost will be $28 per member adult, $38 per non-member adult. Children under 13 are half price. A vegetarian main course can be made available upon advance request. The Seder will be led (by popular demand) by Aaron Weissman.

Payment is preferred in advance unless other arrangements have been made. Please be aware you will be responsible for the cost if you do not attend and have not canceled prior to April 6.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Submitted by Congregation President Laura Weiss

SAVE THE DATE!

Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events. We will share more information as it becomes available.

Saturday, April 23, 2016, 5:30 P.M.: Aitz Chaim Community Passover Seder at Clark and Lewie’s.

May 6-8, 2016: Week end with Rabbi Ruz Gulko, place TBA.

PASSOVER STORY TELLING — RUBE GOLDBERG

I hope the congregation will enjoy this, even though it’s a few days late.

Submitted by Helen Cherry

THE MAKING OF A HAGGADAH

LINK TO VIDEO:
http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/Hebrew-Illumination

The Rose Haggadah – Ancient Technique, Modern Sensibility
BY RABBI VICTOR S. APPELL

Each year the ancient story of Passover is told through the Haggadah, “the telling” of the story. The Haggadah includes prayers, biblical passages, stories, and songs, all designed to make the participant feel as if he or she were actually moving from slavery to freedom. Many remember the Haggadah provided by Maxwell House® Coffee. Over the years, many wonderful Haggadot have been published. Some have featured beautiful art.

Others link the contemporary struggles of women, LGBTQ people, African-Americans and Palestinians to the plight of the ancient Hebrews. Some are designed to be especially welcoming to interfaith families. Many families cherish their worn Haggadot, complete with wine and food stains of past seders.

On display at The Morgan Library and Museum through May 3, the exhibit Hebrew Illumination for Our Time: The Art of Barbara Wolff is an important and beautiful addition to the tradition of Hebrew manuscripts. Commissioned by Joanna S. and Daniel Rose, The Rose Family Illuminated Haggadah was designed and illuminated by Barbara Wolff. The Hebrew text was written by Izzy Pludwinksi and the English text was written by Karen Gorst.

Of special interest is the video, featuring Barbara Wolff, which accompanies the online exhibition. It is a fascinating window into the making of an illuminated manuscript. Wolff begins by pointing out that just as the Haggadah follows an order, so does the production of a manuscript. It begins with the selection of parchment. In this case, calf is the preferred source and both quality and quantity are important. Enough parchment must be secured for the entire project. Watching the Hebrew calligrapher Izzy Pludwinksi write the letters of the text is almost hypnotic. Wolff herself describes the work as “almost a meditative process.”

Creating an illuminated manuscript is not only art but science as well. The video features the painstaking process of first creating gesso, the mixture used for attaching gold to the parchment. Gesso contains white lead and takes several weeks to dry. It creates the illusion of solid gold letters on the page. Gilding is the process of creating the bright gold that seems to bounce off the page. Before artificial lighting, the bright sheen of the gold captured and reflected the light of the sun and candles to create the effect of illumination. Shell gold is the flatter, soft shade of gold. Requiring numerous steps, it is made from gold powder, honey, and salt. Rather than shine, it creates a soft glow, perfect for creating a background for more vibrant colors.

Ultimately, it is the art that makes this Haggadah so unique. The art includes both contemporary and traditional imagery. While some of the art is evocative of Chagall, other motifs and colors are inspired by ancient Egyptian artwork and statuary. Throughout the Haggadah, extensive images of plants and flowers remind us that Passover is a Spring holiday.

The Rose Haggadah is a one-of-a-kind work, and this special exhibit provides a chance for everyone to enjoy its beautiful artwork. During the intermediate days of Passover, savor the memorable manuscript and marvel at how 14 century techniques have been employed to create a modern Haggadah.

Rabbi Victor S. Appell is the Union for Reform Judaism’s Congregational Marketing Director.

Submitted by Brian Schnitzer

SOME THOUGHTS ON CHAMETZ

The Weekly Parashah
from
The Center for Latino-Jewish Relations

This weekend marks the end of the Passover holiday and the return to eating chametz. During the last week, we were to think about the meaning of freedom and when we lacked both national freedom and also personal freedom. One of this holiday’s aspects that makes Passover so unique is that it is a time when we are “chametz-free”.

The term chametz is not easy to translate. We often translate it as “leavening”, or something that makes food rise. Thus, Jews around the world refrain from eating most bread products and beers throughout the holiday. Can we see Passover as the first “gluten-free holiday”?

In reality, as almost every Jewish person knows, translating the word chametz for someone outside of Jewish culture is not easy. The word conveys a sense of “puffed-up” and of “self-importance”. Thus, it has both a food-science meaning and a spiritual and national meaning. Chametz reminds us that we are free but only within the confines of society. The term also reminds us that each of us is just one small dot in the scheme of history, that to rid oneself of self-importance is another way to rid oneself of perpetual slavery.

The word “chametz” is not only used, however, with the holiday of Passover. Thus, in chapter 2 of Leviticus we read: “No meal offering that you offer to the Lord shall be with leaven (chametz), for you shall burn no leaven (se’or) or honey in any fire offering to the Lord.” (2:11)
And again in chapter 6 of Leviticus we read: “… its remainder (of the meal offering) shall be eaten by Aaron and his sons; it shall be eaten as unleavened cake (matzot) in the sacred precinct … It shall not be baked with leaven …” (6:9-10). Does being chametz-free here symbolize the unfinished, the work that has yet to be done to complete a task?

As we finish the holiday of Passover we remember that the search for freedom and human dignity is also an unfinished business. To be chametz free then represents the beginning of a yet-unfulfilled process. Now that we are about to end the Passover holidays and enter the comforts of the chametz world, it is our responsibility to remember that our journey to collective and personal freedom is not yet complete, that all too many of us have become spoiled and at times selfish. How do each of us remember the lessons of Passover and the meaning of freedom throughout the rest of the year? What do you think?

From Rabbi Peter Tarlow
Submitted by Jerry Weissman

CHAG SAMEACH PESACH!

Chag Sameach Pesach

MAY YOUR MATZAH BE TASTY AND YOUR SEASON FREE FROM WORRY!

Submitted by Brian Schnitzer
MAJCO

PLEASE MAKE YOUR PASSSOVER RESERVATIONS NOW

photo caption

Traditional arrangement of symbolic foods on a Passover Seder Plate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our community Passover seder is coming up in about three weeks! The seder will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015, at 5:30 P.M. at the meeting room at Clark and Lewie’s restaurant, 7th Street and 1st Avenue South.

Please RSVP as soon as possible! You can make your reservation on our website by visiting https://aitzchaim.com/pesach-seder-reservations/, by sending Laura Weiss an email at president@aitzchaim.com or by calling her at 452-8621.

WHO KNOWS ONE? (ENGLISH)

1 – who knows 1
1 – I know 1
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

2 who knows 2
2 I know 2
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

3 who knows 3
3 I know 3
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

4 who knows 4
4 I know 4
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

5 who knows 5
5 I know 5
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

6 who knows 6
6 I know 6
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

7 who knows 7
7 I know 7
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

8 who knows 8
8 I know 8
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

9 who knows 9
9 I know 9
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

10 who knows 10
10 I know 10
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

11 who knows 11
11 I know 11
11 are the stars in Joseph’s dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

12 who knows 12
12 I know 12
12 are the Tribes of Israel
11 are the stars in Joseph’s dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

13 who knows 13
13 I know 13
13 are the attributes of God
12 are the Tribes of Israel
11 are the stars in Joseph’s dream
10 are the commandments
9 are the months before birth,
8 are the days to the brit milah
7 are the days in a week till Shabbat
6 are the orders of the mishnah
5 are the books of the torah,
4 are our matriarchs,
3 are our patriarchs
2 are the tablets of the commandments
1 is Our God who is in the heavens and on earth.

CHAD GAD YA

Our Aitz Chaim Community Passover Seder 5774 (2014) was another rousing success. The number of participants surpassed expectations. As always, there were a few memorable impromptu moments, such as the asking of the Four Questions and the search for the Afikomen.

A special thank you to our Seder leader Aaron Weissman, who did a masterful job of guiding us through the Haggadah and the songs. Aaron has led the Seder for several years now. In order to fulfill the mitzvoth of passing on our heritage to the next generation, he says that next year there will be a few younger helpers who will volunteer (or be voluntold) to lead the Seder.

Next year, if not in Jerusalem, we plan to be again at Clark and Lewie’s. Our sincere thanks for their hospitality and expertise at preparing this symbolic meal, especially with the head count rising almost to the very hour of the Seder. After several years, they are really getting the hang of it.

Click the link below for what you may have missed, or for a reminder of the joy we shared as a community on this special night, which is different from all other nights.

Next year, wherever we are, perhaps Aaron should sing the words to an old song:
“What would you say if I sang out a tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song, and I’ll try not to sing out of key.
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends. …”

And he does. Thank you, Aaron, and all the friends, old and new, who participated in our Community Seder.

Shall we take it on the road?