Welcome to Congregation Beth Shalom! While we are all dealing the pandemic, we are committed to remaining connected as a community. Reach out to us and we will continue to stay in touch with you. For the time being, we will connect online, and we know that in the near future we will celebrate as a Jewish community in person.
We are grateful to all who joined us for our online High Holiday services. Check out Yellowstone Public Radio's article about our services, featuring comments from our Board Member Randi Levin and Rabbi Kula.
Operating Protocols as of May 13, 2020, revisited October 1, 2020
- The temple plans to continue virtual services and events for the foreseeable future under Phase 1 and 2 of the Governor’s reopening plans. This policy will be re-evaluated as the situation evolves.
- Staff is permitted to work in the temple building, or continue to work remotely, as they deem appropriate.
- Usage of the building by affiliates is to be limited. If an affiliate needs to use the building to meet with staff or to conduct other temple business, they must obtain prior authorization from Rabbi Mark Kula or Lisa Roots. No more than 10 people may be present in the temple at any given time, and 6 feet of social distance must be maintained between each person. We also require the use of facial masks if any individuals plan to interact in-person with other individuals while in the temple building.
- Lisa Roots is maintaining a Google Doc to track the plans and actions of any building users. If anyone plans to go to the temple, they should obtain the requisite authorization and contact Lisa Roots at 406-556-0528 or email@example.com to let Lisa know when they will be there, and what areas of the temple they plan to utilize. Cleaning supplies are available in the foyer of the temple. Immediately prior to exiting the temple, the building user (or the last building user if a group of 10 or less is present) should disinfect any surfaces that they touched during their visit, and use a wipe or paper towel sprayed with disinfectant to open the door to exit the building. Upon exiting, the building user should confirm to Lisa that this cleaning was done.
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Shalom from Rabbi Kula
November 17, 2020 – 1 Kislev, 5781– Parshat Toldot- Honesty and Love:Tremble Less.
Shalom, Beth Shalom and Friends!
This week’s Torah portion, Toldot (Generations), reverberates with the trembling of Isaac upon learning of the deceit within his family. The severe sibling rivalry between Isaac’s two sons, Jacob and Esau, culminates as Isaac lies on his deathbed. On his deathbed, Isaac avoids the truth before him: Jacob disguises himself as Esau in order to secure his father’s blessing of the first born. When the real Esau later brings warm soup to his father to seek his blessing, Isaac realizes the deception and trembles uncontrollably.
The commentaries explain Isaac’s unrestrained trembling as a result of witnessing and participating in the deception. He is forced to realize the truth of his dysfunctional family as well as the pain and destructive force of hate and deceit. The eleventh-century French Biblical commentator, Rashi, goes further in explaining Isaac’s intense trembling from imagining the end of the world, or hell. Isaac felt the impact of fraud and hatred in his offspring. He comprehends that all could crumble to nothing because of hatred and dishonesty.
Recent news reports have called the state of the current pandemic “virus hell” and a “humanitarian crisis beyond proportion”. We must do everything we can to combat this virus, including wearing masks, social distancing, limiting social gatherings and leaving our homes only when necessary. We are part of a pandemic that makes us tremble as it spirals out of control.
Isaac trembled, yet did not try to change the situation. We can take on this pandemic and protect ourselves and others. Additionally, if we can be of assistance to those in need, it is a commandment to help those suffering. When we help others and protect life, we bring God into our world.
Today is Rosh Hodesh Kislev, the first day of Kislev, the month in which we celebrate Hanukkah. Observing Hanukkah reminds us that light pushes back darkness. Honesty and love prevail over lies and hate. We are blessed to live in an era with the freedoms to celebrate Hanukkah with unique traditions and innovative holiday expressions. As Hanukkah approaches, let’s welcome the light of truth and kindness in our communications and interactions. Then, hopefully, we won’t tremble in the days ahead, but, be assured that our future will have blessings.
I invite you to enjoy this rendition of Maoz Tzur by Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. (Aaron Burr) and his Jewish wife, Broadway actor Nicollette Robinson to feel the spirit of truth, love and light.
Rabbi Mark Kula
► We're so excited to have you as part of the Beth Shalom Family for 2020-2021! Please return your affiliation form if you haven't yet. Thank you; we truly appreciate everyone in our congregation.
► Here's an easy way to support Beth Shalom: shop on Amazon! When you want to order something, first visit smile.amazon.com, then select "Congregation Beth Shalom, Bozeman" as the organization you want to support. Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to us. Thanks!
Sign up for our email list above to receive links to our virtual Hanukkah events!
Stream Crescendo at this link from November 26th at 6:00pm MST to November 29th at 6:00pm MST. Password: Menemsha (link will be activated at 6:00pm on 11/26).
Links for our other films will be available here each week.
Please see calendar for full list.
Congregation Beth Shalom is a place where affiliates of all ages come together to be a learning and spiritual community who joyfully pray together and celebrate Jewish history and tradition. We cultivate in our affiliates a lifelong connection to Judaism through the lens of the Reform and Renewal movements.