Wednesday, February 22 - 5:30 to 6:30 PM - A Closer Look at Psalms and Proverbs - an ongoing Adult Education course through March 8, 2017. We will explore the connections and contrasts between these very different examples of Wisdom Literature.
Thursday, February 23 - 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM - Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Thursday, February 23 - 12 noon to 1 PM - Torah Thursday. The beginning continues! We are into chapter 3 of Genesis, and with the help of Rashi, Sforno and Steinsaltz will spend the next several months delving into the whole Garden of Eden experience. Bring a lunch and join us on Thursdays at noon!
Friday, February 24 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, February 25 - 9:30 to 11:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah study followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, February 26 - 11 AM to 1 PM - Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Sunday, February 26 - 1 to 3 PM - Jewish and Israeli Dancing. Please contact Mary Weinstein with any questions and/or to let her know you will be coming. Or just show up! Great exercise and great fun! Newcomers (and former dancers) are welcome any time.
Wednesday, March 1 - 5:30 to 6:30 PM - A Closer Look at Psalms and Proverbs - an ongoing Adult Education course through March 8, 2017. We will explore the connections and contrasts between these very different examples of Wisdom Literature.
Thursday, March 2 - 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM - Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Thursday, March 2 - 12 noon to 1 PM - Torah Thursday. The beginning continues! We are into chapter 3 of Genesis, and with the help of Rashi, Sforno and Steinsaltz will spend the next several months delving into the whole Garden of Eden experience. Bring a lunch and join us on Thursdays at noon!
Friday, March 3 - 7 PM - Shabbat Services led by Rabbi Moldo followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Saturday, March 4 - 9:30 to 11:30 AM - Shabbat Services and Torah study led by Rabbi Moldo followed by Oneg sponsored by the Sisterhood.
Sunday, March 5 - 10 AM to noon - Religious School. Help pack Mishloach Manot bags for delivery.
Sunday, March 5 - 11 AM to 1 PM - Library Open. Other times by request. Call Tim Solon, 632-4105.
Sunday, March 5 - 1 to 3 PM - Jewish and Israeli Dancing. Please contact Mary Weinstein with any questions and/or to let her know you will be coming. Or just show up! Great exercise and great fun! Newcomers (and former dancers) are welcome any time.
Sunday, March 5 - 4 PM - Our next Hadassah Book Group will be in Laramie. We will be reading “An Officer and a Spy: A Novel” by Robert Harris. a story about the infamous Dreyfus affair. "Bringing to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Harris tells a tale of uncanny timeliness––a witch hunt, secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, the fate of a whistle-blower--richly dramatized with the singular storytelling mastery that has marked all of his internationally best-selling novels.” Please contact Phyllis if you are planning to attend. Let's carpool!
SAVE THE DATE!!
Purim - Reading of the Megillah and Purim party - Sunday, March 12, 10 AM to noon.
2 Sherri Means
14 Rayette Reece
19 Jonathan Savelle
Weekly Message from our Board President
February 20, 2017
It’s never too early! The Yiddish Food Festival is on Sunday, May 21. That seems like a long time from now, but preparations are starting this week. The first round of cooking for the festival will be at 5 PM this Thursday, February 23. The Yiddish Food Festival is a big event, and we’ll be cooking every week between now and May, except for a break around Passover.
We have the cooking schedule on our website – please click here. And it may change a little, depending on how many people we have helping in the Synagogue kitchen. That’s a sneaky way of saying we are eagerly looking for volunteers. If you can help, please come. This is your official invitation!
The Purim baskets are getting ready to go out. Please have your greetings into the Synagogue by this Friday, February 24. The Purim baskets are filled with goodies to give to every member of the congregation, and they include greetings from you! Say hello to our fellow members, and let them know you are thinking of them. If you have any questions, please contact the Synagogue office. The deadline is coming up fast, so get your greetings in right away.
Our large sanctuary is being converted into a concert hall this Sunday. The Cheyenne Chamber Singers and LCCC Cantorei will be performing at 4 PM on Sunday. The concert is called Emerging Light. Here’s what the Chamber Singers say about it on their website:
Morten Lauridsen‘s Mid-Winter Songs will captivate you as its haunting tunes and uniquely poetic lyrics perfectly capture both the bleak hopelessness of a long, cold winter and the longing for the warmth and beauty of springtime. The second half of the concert will feature several gorgeous melodies in a somewhat surprising mixture of classical and contemporary works.
In order to celebrate the arts, we will feature artwork from local artists, with the theme of “darkness and light.”
LCCC’s Cantorei joins the Cheyenne Chamber Singers to bring you this performance.
Tickets are $15, and $10 for seniors and students. All proceeds go to the Cheyenne Chamber Singers.
The Purim Party is our next big event. It takes place on Sunday, March 12, starting at 10 AM. We’ll have services, hamentashen, and dress up in costumes. We’ll see how many people can spell the name of the king in the Purim story, and look at the stained glass window of Esther in our social hall. Bring the kids for this one. Purim isn’t the same without the younger ones and their groggers.
Let’s start our weekly sayings with Dave Friedberg:
Guests, like fish, begin to smell on the third day.
And from Babs Klein:
One mitzvah leads to another; an averah (sin) leads to an averah.
Mt. Sinai Board of Directors
Purim and Pesach are both on their way here. Please reserve Sunday morning, March 12th, for celebrating Purim with us. The morning will include, as usual, the reading of the Megillah, with a Purim Shpiel of a different sort interspersed between the chapters, along with some traditional Purim songs, mostly led by our Religious School students. [Although I make it a point to never practice anything in English with them. Once a year is enough for that.] There will also be some other Purim related parodies of English songs (with at least one new one. If I have time, I'll do more) as well as chomping on Hamantashen.
Oh, and feel free to dress in a costume of sorts. I'll be in one myself - while it will not match my Frontier Days rig for authenticity, it will at least be a little bit different than what I wear all the time.
On to a Torah thought or two.
This week we go through a lot of the laws that regulate our daily lives with each other. After two chapters of that, Moses gets to write a lot of things down, and then he gets to go back up again to God. A couple of times the people hear what Moses tells them that God is interested in having them do, and they reply, "all that God has said, we will do." Then, after Moses submits something in writing, the people say "we will do, and then we will hear/listen/understand." It seems kind of backwards. Would it not have made more sense for them to say, "We will listen and then do it."?
I have mentioned this before, and it still seems to me that the Israelites intuitively developed what the Pastoral Care community spent decades figuring out. A particularly effective way to develop as a Chaplain is to engage in an action-reflection-action chain of events. Try something that seemed helpful to you when you thought of it. Then reflect on what actually happened (did it seem like it was helpful to the patient, did it help you more than it helped them, etc.) Then tweak your behavior the next time you are in that situation. Repeat continually.
So we do the same thing within Judaism, but sometimes over a much longer time frame.
We do what it seems that God has commanded us. Then we see if that results in a benefit to the world (and there are many ways that the world might benefit from any particular Jewish action) or in an increase in suffering. Then we try to figure out how we might have misunderstood or misapplied the teaching from the text, in order that the next time suffering will be decreased and the world will be on its way to being perfected.
Some direct statements in the Torah text were determined almost from the beginning to result in an increase in suffering if they were to be implemented as written. This week's text provides one of those instances - the lex talionis - (eye for an eye). The text describes physical symptoms, and from the moment the law could be applied, it was determined to be best applied by financial compensation. Sometimes it becomes clear over time that something has changed, so things that were taken literally no longer need to be done in that fashion. At one point in time, it was assumed that when one mentioned the name of a supposed deity, that deity was strengthened, as merely mentioning the name gave it the extra reality of your belief. These days, when I discuss the Scrooge movies throughout the decades, I am not indicating that it is appropriate for Jews to add December 25th to our religious calendar. Sometimes it becomes clear almost overnight that something might have changed and what once seemed beneficial now increases suffering. Although the Rabbis were pretty modern in their understanding of the physical variations regarding sex organs, throughout much of Jewish history, the problems of negative population growth took precedence over people's individual desires. Attitudes are in the process of changing comparatively quickly. Within 200 years or so, the options within Judaism may no longer be recognizable in this area - which is not the first time in Jewish history that this has happened. Within 500 years, people will presume that anybody with any sense had always been understanding and inclusive.
There may still be a group that is less tolerant. God never wastes any group descended from Israelite/Jewish thought and behaviors. Think of Samaritans, Karaites and the various Anusim.
There is a difference between following the crowd blindly and doing so with full knowledge. Unanimity is never to be presumed among Jews, and I encourage you to do what you can to increase your level of knowledge and understanding of this universe that God is using to teach us how to live better lives. As has been said many times before, these interpretations and these interpretations (even when they completely contradict each other) are both based on what God has communicated.