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Shalom from Rabbi Kula
December 3, 2019 – 5 Kislev 5780 – Weekly portion of Vayetze
Shalom, Beth Shalom and Friends:
Hanukkah begins in three weeks on the evening of Sunday, December 22. While historically, Hanukkah is a minor Holiday, in the scheme of Jewish festivals, today, however, it has taken on a miraculous presence. Truthfully, Hanukkah lessons and legends are worthwhile and significant warranting major attention and celebration.
Our ancestors, a small vanguard of fighters against the Assyrian battalions overcame major obstacles. Tradition teaches that faith and confidence assured a miracle that a bit of oil to suffice igniting the Temple lamp for one day, lasted eight days. Hanukkah nurtures our souls to see that the strength of our spirit is far stronger than the power of might and physical reality. In the face of shorter days and true darkness, we can kindle a fiercer light filling us with the brightest goodness and love. Ideals of this nature are worthy of our time and effort. They stand on their own in the world market place of religious or secular ideals and celebrations.
The Bozeman Christmas Stroll, a Bozeman tradition, is this Saturday, 4:30-7:30pm and for the first time, thanks to our president Sara Schwerin, and numerous volunteers, we will be selling latkes and Sufganiyot (donuts) at the Beth Shalom Hanukkah Treats booth out front of Girls Outdoors on Main Street. We share our pride in Hanukkah and our Jewish community by participating in this Bozeman tradition while also raising money for our Temple. Please come by and taste the best Montana latkes! Let everyone know we are here, representing the significant insights Hanukkah offers everyone this time of year.
Our celebration continues Friday evening, Shabbat, December 20 at services, with a potluck dinner and the building of our Canorah, a Menorah built out of the cans that we all bring to the Temple. After we build and light the Canorah, the cans of food will be donated to our local food bank.
The Hanukkah celebration invites us to see that miracles happened yesteryear and that they happen today. Imagine the miracle of every home seeking food has a can from our canorah. A miracle indeed. Most of all my friends, we must believe miracles happen because of God, the great source of all that is good, and because of us and our sincere efforts to transform the world.
Shalom Uveracha-Peace and Blessing.
Rabbi Mark Kula
► We are excited to institute the new URJ High Holiday prayer book called Mishkan HaNefesh - Sanctuary of the Soul. Congregations around the country are embracing this new edition of our ancient prayers blended with contemporary insights. You are invited to be part of this project as we are offering the opportunity for you to dedicate a prayer book in honor of a milestone, birthday, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or wedding, or in memory of a loved one. Your prayer book dedication will offset the cost of providing these books for Beth Shalom. A bookplate with your name will be placed inside the two-volume set for a tax-deductible contribution of $50. You can download the order form here.
► 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!
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.