Doorway by doorway, rabbi seeks Montana’s Jews

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s small Jewish population is scattered across a huge state that has more rodeos than rabbis, but one man is logging thousands of miles to seek out the faithful one doorway at a time.

Rabbi Chaim Bruk is looking to make sure each Jewish home has a mezuzah at its entrance— and that those already hanging are kosher. Mezuzahs are small parchments of handwritten biblical verses rolled into roughly 4-inch cases and fastened to door frames.

Montana’s only orthodox rabbi sees the focus as a way of connecting Jews to their traditions. He says the mezuzahs are a reminder that God is the ultimate home protection in a state where many people believe that such security begins and ends with a gun.

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