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Congregation Beth Shalom

Jewish Community in Bozeman, Montana

Rabbi's Weekly Message

Jewish Film Festival Begins this Week

Parshat: Bamidbar

Dear friends,

There was apparently another anti-Semitic leafleting incident this past weekend. Beth and I are away this week, so I do not have a lot of information. We can’t allow a few cowardly haters to distract us from the bigger message of how supported the Jewish community is within Bozeman. Despite their hate, Temple life goes on without interruption.

The third annual Jewish Film Festival begins this Wednesday, May 24, at 7 pm at the Procrastinator Theater on MSU campus, with The Women’s Balcony, Israel’s #1 Film of the Year!  An accident during a bar mitzvah celebration leads to a gender rift in a devout Orthodox community in Jerusalem, in this rousing, good-hearted tale about women speaking truth to patriarchal power.  Here is the information for all six festival films.

Spring/summer Adult Education begins on Thursday, June 1 at 6:30 pm, and will meet for 6 Thursdays. We’ll be studying Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed, so if you can join us, here’s the book (2 volumes). And, Shavuot is coming on June 3, at 5:30 pm, and that means a night of Jewish learning, with short teachings on anything Jewish taught by our own congregants. On Friday evening, June 9, we’ll celebrate Shabbat together, and witness Zach and Sarah Krumm choosing Judaism.

We begin the fourth book of the Torah this week, Bamidbar, which means “in the wilderness.” The book recounts the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. I just left South Florida where I was helping my mom move into a senior living facility, and also visiting with family. This joy and challenge juxtaposed reminded me that no matter in what age we live and who we are (or think we are), we are all wandering in a desert much as our ancestors did, encountering its beauty, its joys, its difficult challenges and its downright obstacles, and all the while looking for meaning on the journey. Sometimes the meaning is just being there for one another.

Blessings for a wonderful week,
Rabbi Ed