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Menorah on the bar!

Friday, 27 December, 2019 - 9:36 am

So far, Chanukah has rocked in Big Sky Country! It started with an amazing family event at Jump Time Bozeman on Sunday, MAJCO Menorah lighting at the State Capitol and Menorah lighting at the Livingston Depot on Monday, Chanukah home visits in Butte, Billings and Big Timber on Tuesday, incredible Chanukah Bash at our home on Wednesday, Chanukah celebration at Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs and Yeshiva students Dovid and Nisson visiting Great Falls on Thursday and that doesn’t even include the remarkable events in Missoula, Hamilton, Whitefish and Kalispell hosted by our colleagues the Vogel’s and Wolf’s.

Chanukah is a time of brightness and it’s been bright, both internally and externally.

Yet, what brightened me most this Chanukah was my buddy Danny who serves as a bartender out in Three Forks. He showed me a picture of himself lighting his Chanukah Menorah on the bar with three gentile patrons smiling, enjoying and encouraging his Jewish Mitzvah experience. He was shining brightly as he shared with me what it was like, and rightfully so; it reflected the Jewish soul that is unbeatable, unstoppable and forever bright. It’s the Joseph gift that keeps giving. You see, in this week’s Torah portion, Miketz, we read about Jacob and Rachel’s son Joseph who - despite being utterly mistreated by his brothers and locked up in Egyptian prison due to a libelous claim by his master’s wife - ends up chosen by The Pharaoh as Viceroy of the mighty Egyptian Empire.

You’d think that to honor his appointment and to blend into the melting pot of Egypt, Joseph would change his name, marry a local, hide his Abrahamic ancestry and refuse to circumcise his sons Ephraim and Menashe, but he didn’t assimilate. He retained his Jewish identity, fully, and everyone in Egypt knew that their “sustainer”, the one who ensured that enough food was saved during the seven years of plenty in order to survive the seven years of famine, was a Jewish kid from Israel who “had a record”. Joseph ingrained in every Jew, for all eternity, that no matter our surroundings, whether in a bar or dressed as Santa, we could connect and feel our soul and act on it on a moment’s notice.

Burn, Burn, Burn!

May You guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May You protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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