Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

Welcome to Shabbat Services


Shabbat Hahodesh

April 22-23, 2016 – 15 Nisan 5776

Candle lighting 7:23 p.m.

Services Friday April 29 9:30 a.m.
Saturday April 30 9:30 a.m.


Yizkor service Saturday April 30 11 a.m.

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, 76 Noyes St. Portland, ME 04103

President: Dr. Natan Kahn
Administrative Director: Susan C. Lawrence 207-773-0693
Shaarey Tphiloh Office Hours: T, Th, F 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Ner Lamaore

Cynthia and Stephen Lerman, in memory of Samuel Lerman

Cynthia and Stephen Lerman, in memory of Martin Sprince

Annabelle Mack, in memory of Owen Mack

Seder: The Redemption of Speech

Our obligation to conduct the Seder and relate the story of the Exodus to our children is derived from the following verse:
And you shall tell to your child on that day: “It is because of this that God did for me when I came from Egypt.” (Shemos 13:8)

The primary phrase here is v’higadeta, meaning “and you shall tell.” In fact, the term haggadah, familiar to all as the name of the book which we read at the Seder, originates from this verse in the Torah. But is telling the only implication of this word? My holy father pointed out that the Aramaic Targum Onkelos always renders this word as “show” or “indicate.” This tells us that merely relating the story is insufficient; we must show our children that it is true, whether by deed or proof.

I would like to suggest why relating the story of the Exodus is so fundamental to Pesach and its proper appreciation. The mystics tell us that in Egypt, not just the Jews, but speech itself was in exile. Indeed, the word pesach can be interpreted as two separate words, peh and sach, “the mouth speaks.” This means that when the redemption came, the mouth, too, was redeemed, enabling it to speak again. Although this is a complex matter and one of the great Kabbalistic secrets, we can apply the following simple explanation.

We cannot suggest that the Jews never spoke while they were in Egypt, as this is clearly untrue. However, we can propose that they spoke without heartfelt conviction behind their words. The nefesh, or soul, is the root of all human speech, and for this great gift to be utilized correctly the words that flow from a person must be a proper expression of the feelings of his nefesh. Even if he has fully considered the words that he is about to utter, the thought processes themselves are only a guise of the nefesh and do not necessarily reflect the desires of the nefesh itself. Speech can be said to be in exile when the nefesh does not have the ability to express itself through the vehicle of speech.

Our Sages teach:
They [the Egyptians] closed up the eyes and hearts of Yisrael through the anguish of the enslavement. (Rashi, Bereishis 47:28)

Speech, at least in its most meaningful sense, was indeed in exile. …
This is the intention of the Haggadah; it is a celebration of the redemption of meaningful speech. We must express our true feelings about the miracles of the Exodus when we relate it to our children on this night, and they in turn will be able to take our words and influence their souls. Then our Haggadah will indeed be a true demonstration of the power of speech and a clear proof of the great chesed performed by God on that night long ago.

Excerpted from Shem MiShmuel by the Sochatchover Rebbe, rendered into English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski, published by Targum Press.

Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day
Wednesday May 4, 2016, 6pm-10pm

Maine College of Art, Osher Hall, 522 Congress Street, Portland

Community Observance
Candle lighting by 1st, 2nd & 3rd generations of survivors,
Kaddish prayer, poetry, songs and narratives
Film Screening of Karski & The Lords of Humanity
Video Q&A with the filmmaker, Slawomir Grunberg
Seating is on a first come basis.
The Yom HaShoah Film Project is made possible with the
generous support of Drs. Verne and Tracey Weisberg.

Yom HaZikaron (Israeli Memorial Day) / Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day)

Portland, ME
400 Deering Avenue
Temple Beth El (Conservative)
May 11 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Join the Jewish Community for a solemn ceremony for this year’s Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror followed by an uplifting celebration marking 68 Years of Israel’s Independence
Children’s activities and Israeli food
Please RSVP (207) 772-1959
Participants are encouraged to wear blue and white.
Please be in touch if you:
* Have a name or story of a fallen soldier or victim of terror that you would like shared *
* Served in the IDF and would like to share your story of army life *
* Have photos from your travels to Israel in the past year that you would like to share *

Holocaust and Human Rights Center
Yom HaShoah
Sunday, May 1, 2016
The Messalonskee High School Master Singers

Songs of the Holocaust, along with the story of Brundibar, the children’s opera performed at Terezin concentration camp.

Call – 207-621-3530 to make reservations
E-mail –

2016 Maine Conference for Jewish Life!

Registration is on a roll!

We have a special price available to those who register early, but this opportunity to save on the conference ends March 31. Please register today to get a special deal!

On June 17 – 19, 2016, at Colby College in Waterville, come enjoy Maine’s only state-wide Jewish conference. We offer superlative learning, speakers from near and far, good food, great socializing, and the opportunity to learn, play, and meet with Jews from all over our beautiful state.

The schedule is up on the MCJL website! Though more information will continue to go up, you can see the many amazing offerings we’ll have — from a crash course in trope to ASL translation for prayer to the amazing power of kugel to a teens mocktail-making session, the MCJL offers a ton of varied opportunities for learning.

This year, we’re featuring a special track of learning specifically to empower small congregations with the skills they might want or need — and have difficulty finding elsewhere. Learn how to run a successful synagogue garden, book group, and social justice committee; how to conduct a tahara; how to build a learning and praying community in the absence of clergy… and much more. Register today to reserve your spot!

You can always find interesting updates on our Facebook page. If you have any questions regarding registration, the schedule, or other aspects of the MCJL, please don’t hesitate to be in touch!


Wish List:

  • Diapers and wipes
  • RICE!!
  • Baked Beans
  • Pasta Sauce & Pasta
  • Kid Friendly Snacks-granola bars, etc.
  • Cereal
  • Juice Boxes

Learning Opportunity at Chabad House

On Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Shimon Simons will teach Maimonides’ Hilchot Deot, “laws of character development,” at Chabad House, 11 Pomeroy Street, Portland. The next class meeting is Tuesday, January 19. Texts will be provided. Call Chabad House at 871-8947 for more details or check the December issue of the Jewish Journal.


Every year, the Yiddish Book Center welcomes a group of enthusiastic, engaged high school students for our Great Jewish Books Summer Program. Applications for the 2016 program are due April 1.

Now in its fifth year, Great Jewish Books brings together a diverse group of rising high school juniors and seniors to spend a week reading important works of modern Jewish literature and discussing them in seminar-style classes led by college professors. Outside of class, they meet renowned visiting authors, enjoy group recreational activities in the Amherst area, and get a taste of college life while staying (with staff RAs) in dorms on the Hampshire College campus, adjacent to the Yiddish Book Center.

All students admitted to the program receive scholarships covering the full cost of tuition, room and board, books, and special events.

Because the program has proven so popular in the past, this year we’re offering two sessions of Great Jewish Books: July 24-29 and July 31-August 7.

You can learn more about the program at or by calling or e-mailing us at 413-256-4900, ext. 143, I’m also including a flyer about the program that can be downloaded here, which I hope you will post and share with others.

As we look forward to another exciting summer of Great Jewish Books, we appreciate your sharing this information with any prospective applicants you know.


All kids pre-bar/bat mitzvah are invited to all of our programs; however, each program is targeted to a different age group. Parents are invited to attend as well, but parent attendance isn’t necessary (except Minyan Katan) unless your child needs supervision. We expect parents and guests that attend to participate fully in the program.


May 7 – Shabbat Club (10:35) and Minyan Katan (11:30) at Temple Beth El

Note: Schedule is still changing as we coordinate with guests and the community.

Program Descriptions

Minyan Katan (New Program at Temple Beth El)
Targeted to 1-3 year olds
Mostly Shabbat related songs in a circle time environment with some finger
plays and movements
Short story around Jewish themes
At least one parent must be in attendance with kids

Shabbat Club (at Temple Beth El)
Targeted to 4-7 year olds
Prayers consist of mostly shacharit
Includes singing and dancing
Story for the kids around the parsha

Tefillat Yelidim (at Shaarey Tphiloh)
Targeted for 8-10 year old
Prayers consist mostly of preliminaries
Israeli style davening and tunes
In-depth discussion or d’var for older kids

No electronic devices are permitted. No electronic children’s toys or cell phones or cameras are permitted in the synagogue on the Sabbath.

Please consider making a gift to one of our many funds. Call the office at 773-0693 for details. Thank you for your support of Shaarey Tphiloh. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Yahrzeits This Week

23 Nisan Frances Briggs, Simon Cohen, Sarah Erlick, Goldie Grant, Sara Levy, Irving Rothstein, Arthur Waterman

24 Nisan Morris Baker, Sarah Dansky, Morris Fineberg, Harris Matson, Ida Modes, Emma Ross, Frances Stiman

25 Nisan David Feldman, Kate Levine, Ethel Sneider, Abraham Zimmerman
26 Nisan Morris Greenman

27 Nisan Hyman Bernstein, Samuel Lerman, Abraham Levine, Martin Sprince, Ethel Wolman

28 Nisan Rebecca Abramson, Joseph Brenner, Jacob Glovsky, Rose Hirshon, Edith Mack

29 Nisan Rose Agger, David Davidson, Bessie Feldman, Harry Levey, Ray Levine, Mrs. Thomas Levine, Abraham Slosberg, Nellie Vinick

Comments are closed.


Visit the
Shaarey Tphiloh Facebook Page

ST Facebook image link

Upcoming Events