Friday – 7:00 PM
Shabbat Services are led either by Rabbi Larry Moldo or by lay leaders.
Wednesday, February 19 – 6:30 PM – Board Meeting.
Thursday, February 20 – Noon – Torah Thursday. Join us on Thursdays at noon as we look at the growth of Jacob’s family with the help of Rashi, Sforno and Steinsaltz. Feel free to bring your lunch!
Thursday, February 20 – Noon to 2 PM – Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Friday, February 21 – 7 PM – Shabbat services led by Tikvah followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood. This will be a musical Shabbat.
Sunday, February 23 – 10 AM to Noon – Religious School cancelled..
Sunday, February 23 -10:30 AM – Hadassah Book Group. We will be reviewing for our first book group event of the year A Daughter of Many Mothers, the autobiography of Rena Quint and co-authored by Barbara Sofer.
We will be meeting at 10:30 a.m. at Wendy Berelson’s residence in Laramie for a brunch event. At this event we will have both Barbara Sofer and Rena Quint skyping in with us for our discussion! Sofer and Quint live in Jerusalem and Sofer is the Israel director of public relations for Hadassah. This will be an event you will not want to miss!
Here is what Amazon has to say: A Daughter of Many Mothers” is the story of Rena Quint, a Holocaust survivor. Left alone as a small child after her parents and brothers were murdered by the Nazis, one good woman after another took care of her despite the danger. She was found still alive among the piles of dead in Bergen-Belsen. Still another mother took her to the United States, but that mother died soon after they arrived. Rena’s story defies the myth of the loss of humanity in the concentration camps. Click here to read more about the book.
Please contact Phyllis for car pooling and additional information.
Sunday, February 23 – Noon to 2 PM – Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Sunday, February 23 – 1:30 to 3 PM – The Bea Montross Israeli Folk Dancers – For more information contact Mary Weinstein.
Thursday, February 27 – Noon – Torah Thursday. Join us on Thursdays at noon as we look at the growth of Jacob’s family with the help of Rashi, Sforno and Steinsaltz. Feel free to bring your lunch!
Thursday, February 27 – Noon to 2 PM – Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Friday, February 28 – 7 PM – Shabbat services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, March 1 – 10 AM to Noon – Religious School..
Sunday, March 1 – Noon to 2 PM – Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Sunday, March 1 – 1:30 to 3 PM – The Bea Montross Israeli Folk Dancers – For more information contact Mary Weinstein.
Weekly Message from our Board President
Wikipedia says comfort food is food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone. The nostalgia may be specific to an individual, or it may apply to a specific culture. Let’s go out for comfort food! Our next Shalom Dinner will be on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 6:30. We’ll go to Perkins Restaurant on Dell Range. For folks new to Shalom Dinners, we all get together at a local restaurant (you pay for your own meal) and enjoy each other’s company. So join us!
This is Helen Zigmond month at Mt. Sinai. We are trying to raise money to pay for sponsoring a seat in the large sanctuary. The total cost is $500, but an anonymous donor has offered to cover half the cost if we use the donor’s wording on the seat. Help us honor this beloved wonderful lady with a seat in her name.
The Rabbi has been on the road. Rabbi Moldo and Andrea went to the First Congregational, United Church of Christ in Ogallala, Nebraska. The Rabbi led parts of their service, and taught a brief class about anti-Semitism. The relationship with the church began after the shooting in Pittsburgh last year. Reverend Lisa Hadler reached out to Mt. Sinai to show support, and a friendship quickly developed.
The Rabbi’s column today is the presentation he made to the church in Ogallala.
Denise Bendori is making a big difference at our Synagogue gift shop. She asked us to pass this along.
Coming Soon! A big blow out sale in our gift shop with tables of selected holiday items, crafts for kids, games, and other fun things. Save big on your upcoming holiday needs in advance, so we can make space for new merchandise. Please come by and see us for all your year-round gift giving on special Judaica, cards, candles, gold and Sterling Silver jewelry, Ahava products from the Dead Sea, unique items, and much more. We look forward to seeing you.
Sisterhood has wrapped up its See’s Candy sale for the year. The money raised goes to feed our congregation at Kiddushes and special events the rest of the year.
Purim baskets are going out soon. Make sure you get your greetings into the Synagogue office this week. We want to make sure everyone you want to send good wishes to, receives them.
And we’ll have plenty of Hamantaschen for Purim, thanks to Andrea Moldo and her team of volunteers. Please notify Rebbitzen Andrea if you will not be able to pick up your hamantaschen on March 1st or 8th from 10 to 1pm or March 9th after Megillah reading. If you have not paid please bring your cash or check when picking up. Andrea’s phone number is 209-613-1884.
The Synagogue is always paying close attention to our security. Rabbi Moldo has an update for us:
The US Dept. of Justice Attorney whose bailiwick includes Wyoming sent a note recently. Mark Trimble, the Law Enforcement Coordinator is the preferred point of contact (307-772-2642, [email protected]) if there are issues that require their assistance. It is to be hoped that this information will never be needed.
Here’s the Yiddish Phrase of the Week:
Der gleichster veg iz ful mit shtainer.
The smoothest way is full of stones.
Mt. Sinai Board of Directors
For delivery in Ogallala February 16, 2020
Reverend Hadler told me about the lectionary for today, as well as giving me permission to ignore it. Within Judaism, we also have a lectionary of sorts. Ours is designed to go through the entire Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) within a Jewish year. Some people take three years for this, and very traditionally (before the year 500 C.E. or so) communities would take as long as they wanted, reading as little or as much as made sense to them.
We don’t get to skip something because it is, well, boring. We don’t get to skip something because it no longer applies, either. So I have gotten quite used to finding the gems within the text.
This week’s texts actually have a number of gems within them, as well as at least one thread that connects them.
The texts under discussion today are Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalms 119:1-8, First Corinthians 3:1-9 and Matthew 5:21-37.
Deuteronomy as a whole is one long speech by Moses, trying to hammer into the Israelites who were actually going into the land all the appropriate ways to behave so they would get to stay in the land for a long time. In the selection chosen for today, he emphasizes choosing life. “I have given you today the choice between life and death, between good and evil – therefore choose life.” The choice that Moses lays out is paying attention to what God has been saying, or deciding to do what you want to do anyway.
Focusing on choosing life, over time, has enabled Judaism to survive. When somebody threatens your life unless you break some law of Judaism, there are only three instances where you must let them kill you. Idolatry, adultery and murder. This verse has also been used as the basis of the general rule “saving a life cancels everything else out.” Which means – if there is a chance that a life may be saved, you must ignore the normal rules. One of the areas which has been very affected by this is organ transplants. During those years when organ transplants seemed to be more for surgeons to develop skills than useful in prolonging life, and given that there was a policy of burying every body part, Jews were discouraged from being organ donors. For several years now, since organ transplants are more often successful than not, being an organ donor is almost mandatory, as saving a life is more important than being buried whole.
Psalm 119 is very long. It’s hard to tell in the English version, but the Hebrew version has eight verses per letter, in alphabetical order. So the selection for today is just the first letter of the alphabet. Within this first letter, one of the points the Psalmist makes is that keeping the rules helps make sure that God does forsake a person – as somebody who deliberately refuses to keep the rules has removed themselves from God’s protection, as it were. One thing to remember is that there is no magic within Judaism (although there seem to be magical acts within the TaNaKH). I define magic, for this purpose, as doing something to coerce God to either do what you want or to avoid doing something you do not want to have done. God cannot be controlled by humans, which may be why Paul suggests in Corinthians that humans should not be the ones you follow. God should be the one you follow.
In the quotation from Matthew, Jesus lists a number of written rules and extends those rules beyond what is simply written. In this, what he does is much the same as what I, or any Rabbi of any generation might do. What is written is not ignored – but often it is used to help clarify other situations. Much like what I indicated earlier has been done with the choice Moses gave us between life and death.
So, to sum it all up: Moses begged us to choose life, and the Psalmist indicated that when we do choose life by following the rules, we will not feel like God has forsaken us. Paul indicates that it is better to not blindly follow humans and Jesus mentioned that the law is more complicated than you might otherwise think.
15 Sherri Means
14 Rayette Reece
19 Jonathan Savelle
Mt. Sinai Movie Nights
All movies are shown at Mt. Sinai on the “big screen” and with surround sound. Refreshments and drinks provided. Come join us for any or all of our upcoming movies.