By Emily Stifler Explorebigsky.com Managing Editor

BIG SKY–Of all the Jewish holidays,
the weekly Shabbat, or Sabbath, is
considered the most important.
It starts every Friday night, at sunset,
and ends Saturday night. Shabbat, or
the day of rest, is a festive time to be
with friends and family, rest, pray, read and rejuvenate.
Shabbat has three main rituals: lighting
the Sabbath candles, saying Kiddush
over wine, and reciting HaMotzi over challah bread.
For the last few years, the Jewish community
in Southwest Montana has put
their own special twist on Shabbat: Shabbatski.
On Jan. 21, the congregation from Beth
Shalom in Bozeman will come to Big
Sky for Shabbat services. And to ski.
This is one of two Shabbat services each
year at the Big Sky Chapel led by Beth
Shalom’s Rabbi Ed Stafman and lay cantor, Josh Burnim.
“It almost sounds Yiddish,” Stafman
joked about the clever name.
Shabbatski includes a Friday night service,
a Shabbat dinner, and Torah study
on Saturday morning from 9-10 a.m.
“We’ll be done in time to hit the
slopes,” Stafman said.
Last year, they
marked the end
of Shabbat with
a small Havdalah
service around
the fire pit park in
the Town Center,
on Saturday evening.
“The nature
of the Jewish
community in
Montana is we’re
spread out. We
wanted to reach
out to where
our people are,”Stafman said.
Approximately 120 families from
Bozeman, Big Sky, Ennis, Livingston
and Helena belong to the Beth Shalom congregation.
Plus, Stafman said, the congregation
has a lot of skiers, so this was a good
excuse for them to come out to Big Sky.
“It’s sort of a win-win for everybody.”
All are welcome at the service.
bethshalombozeman.org