Shaarey Tphiloh Prayers, by Caryl Herzfeld
Shaarey Tphiloh Prayers, by Caryl Herzfeld

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

Welcome to Shabbat Services

Saturday 9:30 a.m.
 June 25, 2016 – 19 Sivan 5776

Numbers  8:1-12:16
Haftarah: Zechariah 2:14-4:7

Candle lighting 8:08 p.m.
Shabbat Services
Saturday, June 25   9:30 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.

See below to learn about our new rabbinic intern, Josh Pernick, from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Ner Lamaore

Lou and Shula Bornstein in memory of Hyman Boxstein
Anonymous in memory of Seymour Smith

Parshat Beha’alotekha

The scene painted by the Midrash of the Israelites’ flight from Mount Sinai poses a question that is just as relevant today: How are we supposed to walk away from Sinai? How do we take leave of any point of holiness, be it one demarcated by space or by time?

How do we part from Shabbat, from holidays, from synagogues, or from the Land of Israel?

Perhaps the most disturbing element of the Midrash was the happiness they felt. Leaving holiness, despite the restrictions it places on us or the pressure we may feel to live up to its additional requirements, should be tinged with sadness, and not joy. Quite the opposite: The arrival of a holy day should bring us joy, and not the cessation of holiness. Often, our departure from a state of heightened holiness is unavoidable; all holidays must come to an end, just as every Shabbat must necessarily have a motzei Shabbat.

Nonetheless, many of our customs aim to help us focus on the sadness we should feel as the holiness of the day ebbs away: Havdalah is designed to help us ease our way from the holiness of Shabbat and festivals back to weekday existence. Similarly, it is our custom to leave the synagogue (and the Western Wall) without turning our backs to the place of holiness, but rather to take at least three steps backward before fully disconnecting from the holiness that lies within. If we must leave, we do so with a degree of sadness or longing. Places or times of holiness should hold a dear and central place in our hearts.

Here, then, is when things began to slide off track: As the Israelites took leave of Mount Sinai, a place of immense holiness, they should have taken three steps back, to plant the holiness of that unique place and time deep in their hearts before turning around to face their next destination of holiness, the Land of Israel.

Instead, they turned and ran from Sinai, ran away from the holiness, and became unworthy of the holiness that awaited them in Israel. Because they turned their backs, literally and figuratively, the Land of Israel slips further and further out of reach. The generation that ran away from the holiness of Mount Sinai was incapable of running towards the holiness of the Land of Israel. An entire generation would have to pass before they would ready to approach the Holy Land.

Rabbi Ari Kahn – OU

Community Leader Meeting

Our next community leader meeting will take place Wednesday, July 6, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at Shaarey Tphiloh Synagogue, 76 Noyes Street in Portland.

1) Coordination of Care – presentations by Karli Efron, Jill Epstein and Carolyn Turcio-Gilman about what we are currently doing, a discussion of where the gaps are and how we can increase collaboration.

2) Calendar for the Year – please come knowing as much as you can, especially about special events in the coming year

3) Updates


Josh Pernick

Rabbinic Intern from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

More About Josh

Josh Pernick is currently a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in NY. A graduate of Brandeis University, he worked in the field of Jewish education for a number of years before beginning his rabbinic training at YCT, obtaining a Master of Arts in Teaching in Jewish Day School Elementary Education through the DeLeT program at Brandeis University as well as completing a post-graduate fellowship in Jewish education through the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators in Jerusalem.

He spent the past few years teaching Judaic studies at Jewish day schools in Charleston, SC, Watertown, MA and Atlanta GA, and currently teaches in a community education program at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in NY. Josh also serves on the Judaic Studies teaching staff during the summer at Camp Yavneh in Northwood, NH. The son of a pulpit rabbi, Josh is looking forward to beginning his rabbinic career at Shaarey Tphiloh, learning from all of you who have been part of this community for so many years about all of the unique qualities that make Shaarey Tphiloh such a warm and special place.

Kosher Food at Back Cove Hannaford

Hannaford at Back Cove is now carrying more items in its Kosher food freezer located at back of store. Ask an employee for more information.

FALLEN HEROES: Maine’s Jewish Sailors and Soldier Boys

by Susan Cummings-Lawrence

Thirty-four young Maine Jewish men died in the service of their country in the two World Wars. This project is meant to say a little something about some of them. More than just names on a public memorial marker or grave stone, these men were getting started in adult life. They had newly acquired high school and college diplomas. They had friends, families and communities who loved and valued them. They had goals and dreams. (SC-L)

Go to the online museum of Maine Historical Society― Maine Memory Network.

Find four exhibits and two audio interviews with WWII veterans Mel Stone and Jim Friedlander. Also learn about the origins of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, the founding of the Jacob Cousins Post #99 and the anti-Semitism and other social forces that made their development necessary and productive.

–  Find former Shaarey Tphiloh members who were Fallen Heroes –


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.

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

20 Sivan Jeremiah Kamens
21 Sivan Etta Chase, Sheldon Cohen, Myer Shepard
24 Sivan Harry Jacobs, Mollie Seltzer
25 Sivan Alfred Punsky
26 Sivan Lydia Boxstein Minkin, Eugene Glickstein, Samuel Gerber

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