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Shalom from Rabbi Kula
August 16, 2019 – 17 Av, 5779
Shalom, Beth Shalom and Friends!
How would you like to have a day to focus on love?
Tu B'Av, the Fifteenth of the month of Av, is called Chag Ha’Ahava, the “Day of Love.” On this day, which falls this year on Friday, August 16, we are commanded to celebrate the blessing of love. In the ancient days of the Temple, nearly two thousand years ago, single women would dress in white and dance in the vineyards at the beginning of the grape harvest, seeking their soul mates. In contemporary Judiasm, Chag Ha’Ahava is often a choice day for Jewish weddings. Although it had faded from practice over the generations, Chag Ha’Ahava is one of several that has been revived in modern Israel.
Last Sunday, we marked Tisha B’Av, the Ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, a deeply mournful day recalling the destruction of the Jerusalem Temples and generational tragedies. Although that day of despair marks the lowest point on the Jewish calendar cycle, it does not end on a despondent note. Rather, the afternoon of Tisha B’Av brings a profound call for renewal and hope. Following the Ninth of Av, we begin a renewal journey that leads towards the glorious High Holy Days. In between, the inklings of hope and yearning express themselves on the Jewish calendar as the Day of Love.
Central to Judaism’s vast system of teachings and commandments is the directive to love thy neighbor. We can observe this commandment by seeing the best in one another and when we do, I know we will experience more love in our lives.
Beth Shalom is a community where there is genuineness and caring in the context of the finest of Jewish tradition and living.
Getting to know each other and working in partnership is one pathway to assuring a thriving Jewish community.
Let’s join together for Chag Ha’Ahavah this evening, August 16, for Shabbat Happy Hour, 5:30-6:30 pm at The Tap Room. Welcome Shabbat, and one another, with a loving “Shabbat Shalom”!
Shabbat Shalom with much love,
Rabbi Mark Kula
On August 2nd at 6pm, we’ll gather at our Sweet Pea booth to make kiddush, hamotzi over challah. If you’re new to town or have been curious about Beth Shalom, this is a great time to come say hello. We will have two other “Open House” events like this coming up as well: August 23rd at 5:30pm, when we invite you to join us for a meet-and-greet "pre-neg" (a little nosh before Shabbat services), followed by Shabbat services, and then more food, of course. If you’re still hungry, come back on Saturday morning for another meet-and-greet at 11am with bagels and coffee following Torah Study (join us for that too at 9:30am if you’d like, or just come after to schmooze).
We look forward to celebrating with Maryn Schutz and her family as she becomes a Bat Mitzvah on August 10th at 10am. Join us for this simcha, and for a kiddush lunch to follow.
Rabbi Kula and I invite you to please join us for a meaningful hour on August 11th at 4:00 pm for "From Brokenness to Resilience: Jewish Trauma and Mental Health Awareness," when we will observe the ancient customs of Tisha B'Av infused with contemporary meaning. The Ninth Day of the Hebrew month, Av - Tisha B’Av - recalls the destruction of the 1st and 2nd Jerusalem Temples 2,000 years ago as well as tragedies over the generations. The essential question of the day: How have we, and do we, address trauma, overcome tragedy, support mental health and well being? At our Tisha B’Av gathering we will share Jewish insights of resilience and perseverance in the face of communal historical trauma and personal tragedy. Come hear beautiful poetry, chant and melody. Participate in the welcoming community circle as we listen and share ideas and activities reflecting our strength to embrace loss as well as move forward hopeful of the future. Lamentations, Eicha, associated with Tisha B’Av, will be highlighted and one of our board members, Randi Levin, LCSW, will detail available support networks on which we can draw. This traditional Jewish remembrance day is relevant to our lives in Montana, the state with the nation’s highest suicide rate, as we become aware of the 2,000 year tradition of resilience in dealing with loss and brokenness. Mental Health awareness, sensitivity, and support can enable all of us to navigate life’s trauma better.
We hope to see you at one of all of these events, to be together for all the joys and "oys" of life.
Kol tuv (all the best),
Cantorial Soloist/Program Director
(406) 556-0528 x203
Letter from Rabbi Kula
Mazel Tov on uniting as Rabbi and community.
I am honored and delighted to join the Congregation Beth Shalom family and Bozeman community. These are exciting and challenging times. Let us take care of ourselves and others, nurture our relationships, and tap into profound Jewish wisdom. We will then surely thrive and be blessed.
L’heetraot- I look forward to seeing you soon!
Rabbi Mark H. Kula
Learn more about Rabbi Kula here.
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.