Tuesday, February 9 - 5:30 PM - Practice Reading Hebrew - Andrea Moldo. You know what the vowels and letters look like, but you’re not sure you are ready to begin grammar studies. This class offers an opportunity to practice putting together what you see.
Wednesday, February 10 - 12 Noon - Hebrew Once Again. CLASS IS CANCELLED THIS WEEK.
Wednesday, February 10 - 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Kabbalah & Self-Improvement - Rabbi Larry Moldo. How Jewish mystical thought and becoming attuned to our best selves go hand in hand.
Thursday, February 11 -12 noon to 1 PM - Torah Thursday. Cycling through the entire content of the first five books of TaNaKH with a detour through Jeremiah, and with a focus on Jewish commentary, both traditional and modern. Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, February 12 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, February 13 - 9:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah Study followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, February 14 - 11 AM to noon - Passover in the TaNaKH - What did God tell us to do? What records do we have of actually doing it?
Sunday, February 14 - Noon – 1 PM - Hebrew Love Songs - It is Reb Valentine’s day, after all.
Sunday, February 14 - 1 to 3 PM - Jewish & Israeli dancing. For more information, please contact Mary Weinstein.
Tuesday, February 16 - 5:30 PM - Practice Reading Hebrew - Andrea Moldo. You know what the vowels and letters look like, but you’re not sure you are ready to begin grammar studies. This class offers an opportunity to practice putting together what you see.
Wednesday, February 17 - 12 Noon - Hebrew Once Again. CLASS IS CANCELLED THIS WEEK.
Wednesday, February 17 - 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Kabbalah & Self-Improvement - Rabbi Larry Moldo. How Jewish mystical thought and becoming attuned to our best selves go hand in hand.
Wednesday, February 17 - 6:30 to 8 PM - Board Meeting.
Thursday, February 18 -12 noon to 1 PM - Torah Thursday. Cycling through the entire content of the first five books of TaNaKH with a detour through Jeremiah, and with a focus on Jewish commentary, both traditional and modern. Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, February 19 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services led by Rabbi Moldo followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, February 20 - 9:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah Study led by Rabbi Moldo followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, February 21 - 10 AM to noon - Religious School.
Sunday, February 21 - 1 to 3 PM - Jewish & Israeli dancing. For more information, please contact Mary Weinstein.
SAVE THE DATE!!
The next Hadassah Book Group will be on Sunday, March 6, at 4 PM at Elena Berlinsky's house. Please contact Phyllis to arrange a ride. Our book will be A Pigeon and a Boy by internationally acclaimed Israeli author Meir Shalev.
Amazon describes the book as a mesmerizing novel of two love stories, separated by half a century but connected by one enchanting act of devotion. During the 1948 War of Independence, a time when pigeons are still used to deliver battlefield messages, a gifted young pigeon handler is mortally wounded. In the moments before his death, he dispatches one last pigeon. The bird is carrying his extraordinary gift to the girl he has loved since adolescence. Intertwined with this story is the contemporary tale of Yair Mendelsohn, who has his own legacy from the 1948 war. Yair is a tour guide specialising in bird-watching trips who, in middle age, falls in love again with a childhood girlfriend. His growing passion for her, along with a gift from his mother on her deathbed, becomes the key to a life he thought no longer possible.
Unforgettable in both its particulars and its sweep, A Pigeon and A Boy is a tale of lovers then and now, of how deeply we love, of what home is, and why we, like pigeons trained to fly in one direction only, must eventually return to it. It is a voice that is at once playful, wise, and altogether beguiling. Meir Shalev tells a story as universal as war and as intimate as a winged declaration of love.
2 Sherri Means
14 Rayette Reece
19 Jonathan Savelle
Weekly Message from our Board President
February 8, 2016
It’s heavy duty construction! Our contractor is hard at work on the remodeling of the bathrooms. The work should be done soon, but in the meantime, our Synagogue is a construction zone.
There’s heavy plastic shielding the work area, and we’re not able to reach some areas of the Synagogue because of the construction. There’s also more dust than usual in the social hall. The workmen are going as fast as they can, and they are due to be finished soon. But in the meantime, we’re shifting some things around and there have been a few changes to our regular schedule. Thanks for being so understanding! We’re looking forward to being able to go in our regular areas (and yes, that’s another bathroom pun, Babs Klein).
The Wyoming Legislature kicked off its budget session on Monday. As part of the ceremonies, the Catholic Church held an interfaith service, and our own Rabbi Larry Moldo was there. He was asked to speak as part of the service, and read a version of Psalm 136 and discussed the Torah. The Rabbi’s column today has more about the service. Here's a photo of our Rabbi with some of the other clergy who attended the service.
Our Synagogue Library has another book to recommend for this week:
Paul Everett donated a book entitled "The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures" - an unusual book that could be placed in three locations. To quote from "Publishers Weekly": "...can environment, climate and topology play a part in the development of a religious community? Daniel Hillel, professor emeritus of environmental studies at the U of Mass. and senior research scientist at Columbia U's Center for Climate Systems Research, says yes. He sees the Jewish belief system as an amalgam of ideas emerging from an interplay of human beings with both the land and its people....He divides sacred history into seven domains, dispensations based not on some theological construct but rather on the terrain in which the Israelites lived...a largely naturalistic explanation of Israel's beliefs and laws....recount(ing) in a richly detailed and beautifully told manner, the origins of the Hebrew Bible in a new and satisfying way."
The plans for our next Shalom Dinner are set, so add this date to your calendar. We’ll all get together for another fun dinner on Thursday, February 25 at the Guadalajara Restaurant on East Lincolnway. Let’s meet at 6:30.
An old friend called to say hello the other day. Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman and his wife Barbara send their best wishes to everyone in our Congregation, and while they don’t miss the snow and cold weather, they say they do miss all the friends they made here in Cheyenne. We need to have them send us some Kosher Cajun recipes! (They’re living in Louisiana).
A quick reminder – you can still get See’s Candy. The candy has been marked down 25%, so there are bargains to be had.
Here’s our Yiddish Phrase of the Week (with a nod to the movie The Princess Bride):
Es ken gemolt zein.
It is conceivable.
Mt. Sinai Board of Directors
On the opening day of the legislative session, the Catholic Church hosted an interfaith service for the second time. I arrived on time this year, taking part in the processional and recessional, and sitting on the bima equivalent with a Catholic and Islamic representative. I read a version of Psalm 136, and then I engaged in a bit of Torah study.
The major change I made in Psalm 136 was that instead of the chorus being, "for His mercy endures forever" I used "Whose kindness benefits the world". This makes use of a Rabbinic midrash translation technique which is first heavily emphasized during the week when Abram becomes the main character. God tell him, "Lech Lecha" - which can mean, "You should go!" and the Rabbis reinterpreted to mean, "Go for your own benefit." Since the letter Lamed is used in both "lecha" and in "L'olam" in the Psalm, I chose to reinforce that kindness is important. I also made sure to create a gender neutral translation, as that creates a stronger similarity between the meaning of the two languages concerning this particular text.
This is approximately the teaching I gave:
We study the Five Books of Moses, the Torah, dividing it up so that we go through it all each year. This week's portion begins the section dealing with the construction of the Tabernacle, and I wasn't sure that I would find something that resonated well. I know that construction is a big deal at the capitol, but still.
I did find a couple of verses that seem appropriate. Towards the beginning of the process, God tells Moses to take from each person that which they want to give. This helped the community feel a sense of ownership of the Tabernacle. It is difficult to feel ownership when a person tells you what you have to do. I know that when I am told something like that, my first reaction is, "Really? You actually want me to do this thing? Are you sure?" When I fulfill the command imposed by another person, I am rarely wholehearted in following through.
The other verse deals with the Ark. The box that is kept in a separate room, by itself, and nobody ever sees the inside. Yet the verse tells us to cover the box both inside and out with gold. I have put up many sets of shelves, and I can usually tell how the shelf should be put in by looking for the side with rough edges. This directive is like having a shelf that looks good on both sides. I would never know how to put one together!
What is in this box that remains unopened? The covenant between God and Israel. The contract. The gold on both the inside and the outside is a hint that promises should be kept. When officials make promises and don't deliver on them, then sometimes they don't get to keep their jobs. Other times, once you're in, we'll keep you doing it forever. Now I know that deciding what to do is very difficult, since you have people yelling at you from one side to "Do this!" and people yelling at you from the other side, "Do anything but this!" When we have internalized the contract we are involved with, and act with integrity so that our actions match our promises, then we at least have firm ground to stand on while we do our job.
I spoke off the cuff, really, so the tenor was mostly light-hearted. A lot of the tone is lost without imagining my fist next to each ear as I said the "Do this!" lines, and other similar non-verbal cues. A number of people thanked me afterward, and indicated that they appreciated my being there in the first place, as well as the message I delivered.