Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

Welcome to Shabbat Services


Shabbat Hahodesh

April 15-16, 2016 – 8 Nisan 5776

Leviticus 14:1-15:33
Haftarah: Malachi 3:4-24

Candle lighting 7:07 p.m.

Saturday morning services 9:30 a.m.

Kiddush generously sponsored by Roz Siegel in memory of her beloved father, David Siegel

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.

Passover Schedule. See Below for Details.


Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh extends its condolences to the Bernard Shapiro Family on the death of Bernard Shapiro.

Ner Lamaore

Perla Figa Leavitt, in memory of Luba and Menachem Leavitt
Annabelle Mack, in memory of Bernard Shapiro

Parashat Metzora

The Power of Speech
Leprosy, the subject of one of our parshiot this week, is traditionally associated with the sin of slander. Thus, there is a similarity between the Hebrew word for leprosy – metzora – and the Hebrew words for speaking evil about another – motzei shem ra. The Torah reminds us of the danger of bad speech.

The ability to speak has the capacity to raise a human being above the lower animal world. Hence, Rabbi Yehudah Halevi labels the human being as medaber, one who speaks. Speech is what sets the human being apart.

But, the greater the potential to do good, the greater the possibility for that potential to turn into evil. Speech can raise one to the highest level, but if abused, it can sink us to the lowest depth.

Indeed, injurious speech has enormous ramifications. Although when we were kids, we would say “sticks and bones can break my bones, but names can never harm me,” it is actually not true. Words and name-calling can actually hurt deeply. It also should be remembered that while a word is a word and a deed is a deed, words lead to deeds. Once a word has been said, it is almost impossible to take back, for a spoken word spreads to others in ways that can never be undone.

A rabbinic tale: A rabbi was once asked, what is the most expensive meat. He responded, “tongue.” And the next day the rabbi was asked what is the least expensive meat. Here too he responded, “tongue.” Such is the challenge of speech. One that the Torah reminds us about this week, and that we should all take to heart.

Rabbi Avi Weiss . Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Sale of Chametz

The sale of chametz can be done through Rabbi Braun at Temple Beth El. Go to their website at Search for “chametz” and then click on Passover Resources. Fill out the form and submit. All donations help those with their Passover needs.

Garth Silberstein, rabbinic intern from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, will be here for Passover, April 22-24. Please join us.

Passover Services Schedule

  • Prayer service 7 a.m. Friday April 22 for the burning of the chametz
  • Services 9:30 a.m. Saturday April 23 and 9:30 a.m. Sunday April 24
  • Services 9:30 a.m. Friday April 29 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday April 30
  • Yizkor service 11 a.m. Saturday April 30

Jewish Community Alliance
Thursday, April 21st, 11-2
Seder Plate Mitzvoh!

Please join Jewish Family Services for our annual Seder Plate Mitzvoh! We will be making all the goodies that go along with a seder plate, assembling the plates and delivering them to area seniors looking for a Passover visit before the holiday! Seder plate assembly begins at 11:00 a.m. at the JCA. Delivery will begin around 1:00 p.m. This is a wonderful family volunteer opportunity. To volunteer, please email or call Andrea Krasker Gavin, or 772-1959.

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!

Garth Silberstein, rabbinic intern from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, will be here for Passover, April 22-24. More details in a week or two. Please plan to join us.

Sunday, February 28:
Garth Silberstein was a guest Sunday, February 28, on Sunday Simcha, Jewish music radio. If you missed it, find the interview in their archives at Sunday Simcha 90.9 FM, WMPG. It will be available for five weeks. Join DJ Gail Wartell as she engages Garth in a conversation about environmentalism and Judaism.

WMPG is a community radio station broadcasting from Portland, Maine. It is located on Bedford Street at the University of Southern Maine Portland Campus. Affiliated with the college, a mix of USM students and volunteers from the greater Portland community produce all the music and local public affairs programs.

Sunday Simcha 90.9 FM, WMPG, Sunday morning from 6:30-8:30


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.


Apr 16 – Tefillat Yelidim (10:35) at Shaarey Tphiloh
Apr 23 – Cancelled
Apr 30 – Cancelled
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

9 Nisan Jacob Cox, Rebecca Glovsky, Isaac Kaplan

10 Nisan Sidney Bronstein, Mordecai Goldblatt, Esther Matson, Sarah Shapiro, Jennie Sprince, George Wolf, Adolph Zeitman

11 Nisan Bella Cates, Philip Geron, Sara Schwartz, Eli Schwey

12 Nisan Bessie Averback, Lillian Drecksler, Bernard Rubenstein, David Silverman, Ruth Silverstein Samuel Osher

13 Nisan Rose Glovsky

14 Nisan Tillie Branz, Pauline Lerman, Goldie Silver, Harry Weisman, Alfred Zimmerman

15 Nisan Ethel Lourie, Nancy Nemon, Ralph Ross

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