Wednesday, August 26 - 7 PM - Board Meeting.
Thursday, August 27 - 12 noon - Torah Thursday. We are studying Deuteronomy. Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, August 28 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, August 29 - 9:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah Study followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, August 30 - 11 AM to 12 noon -Themes of the Friday Night service – Creative Expression. We will be going over the themes that are covered during a Friday night service, with the idea being that even if you don't know all the words or melodies, if you wind up in some fashion covering the themes for the evening you have helped lead a religious experience
Sunday, August 30 - 12 noon to 1 PM - Experimenting with Midrash (Having fun with the TaNaKH). We plan to give people an opportunity to engage in Midrash, so that more people will feel comfortable coming up with a D'var Torah for a given lay-led Shabbat.
Sunday, August 30 - 6 PM (Note earlier time!) Movie Night. We'll be showing the 1960 film Exodus, starring Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint, about the founding of the state of Israel. Because of the length of the film, we are starting an hour earlier than usual.
Monday, August 31 - 5:30 PM - Desert Mountain Region President, Cathy Olswing, will be joining us at Mt Sinai Synagogue for a meeting and light supper. She will bring us up-to-speed on the new happenings at Hadassah. Immediately following the book group will meet. We will be reviewing ‘And So It Was Written' by Ellen Brazer. From Amazon: "Meticulously researched and controversial in scope and imagination, And So It Was Written travels to a time when a Third Temple is built and the Ark of the Covenant holding the Ten Commandments is found. The year is 132 CE, and the proclaimed Jewish Messiah, Bar Kokhba, has defeated the Roman army and rules Judea. As the Romans prepare to reclaim Israel, the book follows two sets of brothers-one Roman and one Jewish-whose friendships, hatreds, and lives intertwine. For characters you will dream about, And So It Was Written is the ultimate treat. You will smell the spices in the markets, see the blood on the battlefields, rage with the injustice of brother against brother. From triumph to defeat, this is a saga of courage, conquest, familial loyalty, honor and love-showing man at his best and his worst.” The link is here and the novel is available on Kindle or in paperback form.
Thursday, September 3 - 12 noon - Torah Thursday. We are studying Deuteronomy. Brown Bag Lunch.
Friday, September 4 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services led by Rabbi Moldo followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, September 5 - 9:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah Study led by Rabbi Moldo followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, September 5 - 8:30 PM to 10 PM - Selichot. Movie, discussion, ice cream.
4 Rosalyn Baker
4 Howard Gallensky
6 Ashley Ginsburg
6 Ali Weinstein
14 Jill Zarend-Peebles
15 Logan McLoud
16 Michael Rosenthal
18 Howard Schneider
20 Katie Lerner
22 Rose Levin
22 Warrie Means
24 Jenny Coelho
25 Tim Solon
27 Priscilla Golden
31 Nate Breen
Weekly Message from our Board President
August 24, 2015
We have a little bit of history to share, and also a thank you! Dorothy Feldman recently sold some antique furniture, and is donating the proceeds to the Synagogue. So let’s begin with a heartfelt thank you for her generous donation!
Dorothy sent us a letter about the furniture which included some fascinating history about the first Jews to arrive in Cheyenne. The city of Cheyenne traces its beginnings back to Abraham Lincoln, who signed the legislation authorizing the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The railroad would stretch from San Francisco to Council Bluffs, Iowa, where it would connect with existing railway lines.
Construction began after the Civil War, and on July 5, 1867, Major Grenville Dodge and a crew of surveyors arrived in what is now Cheyenne, and platted out the town. It was intended for railroad workers, and the route was chosen because the only major hill was between here and Laramie… after that the terrain was generally flat through the rest of Wyoming.
By the fall, the tents were replaced with buildings, and the businesses that served the railroad put down permanent roots. Jews arrived as the town was being built and owned many of those businesses. One of the tables that Dorothy sold dated back to around 1870. It belonged to her grandmother, Betsy Rayor. Betsy Rayor’s uncle, Ben Rachofsky, settled in Colorado in the 1860’s, so the table may have been his originally.
A second table came from the Idelman family. Dorothy thinks that Max or Abe Idelman may have been the first Jewish settler in Cheyenne, arriving in 1872, just five years after the town got its start. She says he had liquor license #1, and was Wyoming’s representative to the World’s Fair in France in 1889. He brought the first Torah to Cheyenne in 1888, and the Idelman’s are remembered with a plaque in our small sanctuary. The Idelman building is at the corner of 16th and Carey, and the Idelman’s lived on 24th street, in what would later become the Schrader Funeral Home.
Want to see the tables and chairs that Dorothy sold? Stop by Vintage and Treasures in the Nationway Plaza.
Ever thought about conducting services? Or just wondered what was involved? Rabbi Moldo is now teaching a couple of classes that can help. On Sunday, August 30, at 11 AM, he will teach a class on the themes of a Friday night service. Then at noon, he’ll switch gears and talk about preparing a D’var Torah. Both classes sound very interesting.
After the classes, take a break, and then come back to the Synagogue at 6 PM for a free showing of the movie Exodus. It’s the 1960 film starring Paul Newman about the founding of the state of Israel. It’s a long movie, so we’ll have extra popcorn on hand. It all takes place Sunday, August 30.
Hadassah takes center stage the next day, Monday, August 31. Desert Mountain Region President Cathy Olswing is coming to the Synagogue to talk about the latest happenings with Hadassah. The event begins at 5:30 P.M. with a light dinner.
Here’s our Yiddish Phrase of the Week:
Ich vill nicht vesn.
I don’t want to know.
Mt. Sinai Board of Directors
Torah Tidbits from Rabbi Larry Moldo
Or, A Bit More About Prophets
This past week we read one of the paragraphs discussing the issue of true prophets and false prophets. Why do we have prophets in the first place?
The text is clear that we made the decision to have prophets during the revelation at Sinai, when we told Moses that between the noises we saw and the sights we heard on top of the fiery mountaintop, we just didn't think we would survive any more direct contact with God. God agreed, so we get prophets.
Prophets speak those things which God intends for them to say. How do we know when somebody is lying about it? Usually they trip themselves up by misunderstanding the role of the prophet. The prophet speaks the obvious truth, with the hope that reciting the obvious will lead to Teshuvah. The prophetic truths we still have are usually presented in poetic fashion, but the poetry is secondary to the obviousness of the statements. When a prophet says something about which you have to think a bit, then there can be doubt about whether God inspired the speech or not.
In a different section dealing with prophecy, God makes it clear that miracles used to prove a particular point are meaningless. A miracle is not the message, and when it comes attached with a message about worshiping a different God, then it is a test sent from God to see if we are paying attention to God, or just being distracted by the miraculous.
Prophetic truths all have an underlying dynamic: if this goes on, then God will elect to have you kicked out temporarily and nearly destroyed. Sometimes the dynamic is tweaked a bit to indicate that since the misbehavior has been going on already for quite some time, the process of kicking you out temporarily is already in motion.
Reading future history into prophetic utterances is making a Midrashic interpretation. This does not make the interpretation entirely inaccurate, but one should always be careful to state when an interpretation is based on Midrash, and when the text directly states something.
Somewhere in the back I hear somebody ask, "Where is the obviousness in the prophetic talk about "the end of days?"
The key dynamic about the "end of days" or "the final days" is that things will be dramatically different. Until nature changes completely to the degree that carnivores stop needing to eat meat and forget how to hunt, the end of days has not yet arrived. One of the differences that these end of days will bring about will be peace for the Israelites from the outer enemy as well as peace for the Israelites from within. No one shall make anyone afraid, which implies that abusiveness will have gone the way of the carnivorous lion. All Jews will be accepted as Jews by every Jew.
May we soon get to the point that this is no longer theoretical.