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EDITOR’S NOTE: I know this is late for this year, but I found it to be so beautiful and meaningful that I didn’t want to wait till next year to post it.


Rosh Hashanah 2015/5776

1) What Will You Do Better this Year?

Isaiah 55:6-7 You should seek God while God may be found, call upon God while God is near; Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return unto God, and God will have compassion upon him, and to our God, for God will abundantly pardon.

Do a Heshbon HaNefesh, an accounting of the soul.
(Follow this link for a great step by step, as well as an explanation of where the custom began in the 12th century:

If your friend calls you an ass, put a saddle on your back.
If you have any shortcomings– you be the first to reveal them.
Though the wine belongs to the horse, the butler gets the praise.
A hungry dog will eat even stones.
If you will help lift the load, then I will lift also; if not, then I will not do it alone. (Found in Bava Kamma 92b)

2) What has your Jewish practice looked like in the past year? How do you want it to look in the coming one?

A Blessing
Help us to be modest in our demands of one another, but generous in our giving to each other. May we never measure how much love or encouragement we offer; may we never count the times we forgive. Rather, may we always be grateful that we have one another and that we are able to express our love in acts of kindness.

Keep us gentle in our speech. When we offer words of criticism, may they be chosen with care and spoken softly. May we waste no opportunity to speak words of sympathy, of appreciation, of praise.

Bless our family with health, happiness, and contentment. Above all, grant us the wisdom to build a joyous and peaceful home in which Your spirit will always abide. Amen. (Gates of Shabbat, p. 82)

3) What is one thing you will change in the new year, be it Jewish or otherwise?

R. Isaac…said: Four things cancel the doom of a man, namely, charity, supplication, change of name and change of conduct. (Talmud, Masechet Rosh Hashanah, 16b)

In the hour when an individual is brought before the heavenly court for judgement, the person is asked:
Did you conduct your [business] affairs honestly?
Did you set aside regular time for Torah study (learning)?
Did you work at having children (a legacy)?
Did you look forward to the world’s redemption? (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

4) What Jewish principles do you want to consciously add to your life to enhance it?

When God created Adam, God led him around the Garden of Eden and said to him: “Behold my works! See how beautiful they are, how excellent! All that I have created, for your sake did I create it. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy my world; for if you do, there will be no one to repair it after you.” (Ecclesiastes Rabba 7:13)

Elana Nemitoff
Rabbinical Student – HUC-JIR, 2018
Congregation Beth aaron, Billings

Follow my Journey at:


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.



If there are names and dates of loved ones who have departed that you would like to have added to the Yizkor list, please send them to as soon as you can, so that we may add them to the list for reading during Yom Kippur Services. Thank you.


Here is what we have so far for the Break The Fast milchig (dairy) meal next Saturday evening, October 4, 2014, after Neilah. Please let Helen know what you might like to bring, or just bring whatever you think is missing. this is not an all-inclusive list.

  1. A couple of salads
  2. Guacamole
  3. Drinks
  4. at least one pasta dish
  5. Possibly fish
  6. Spanakopita

We still need:

  1. Appetizers
  2. Vegetables
  3. Dairy Main Dishes
  4. Desserts
  5. Drinks

Thank you.


Todah Robah to the following Congregation members who have offered their hospitality to Morah Ruz Gulko for Yom Kippur:

  • Friday, 10/03/2014: Airport pickup for Ruz Gulko: Marty Foxman
  • Friday evening, 10/03/2014: Dinner hosts for Ruz Gulko: Aaron and Wendy Weissman


Please mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

  • Friday evening, 10/03/2014, 7:00 P.M.: Kol Nidre, led by Morah Ruz Gulko, at the Bethel.
  • Yom Kippur day schedule:

    • Saturday, 10/04/2014, 10:00 A.M.-12:00 P.M.: Yom Kippur Morning services led by Morah Ruz Gulko at the Bethel.
    • Saturday afternoon, 10/04/2014, 12:00-3:00 P.M.: Break
    • Saturday afternoon, 10/04/2014, 3:00-4:00 P.M.: Discussion.
    • Saturday afternoon, 10/04/2014, 4:30-5:30 P.M.: Yizkor
    • Saturday afternoon, 10/04/2014, 5:30-6:15 P.M.: Neilah
    • Saturday evening, 10/04/2014, 6:30 P.M.: Break the Fast Potluck, traditionally dairy (milchig.)

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


    Meriam Nagel has New Year’s cards for sale. She can be reached at 454-1123.