Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

Welcome to Shabbat Services

Parashat Tzav
March 25-26, 2016 – 16 Adar II 5776

Leviticus 6:1-8:36
Haftarah: Jeremiah 7:21-8:3; 9:22-23

Candle lighting 6:42 p.m.

Saturday morning services at 9:30 a.m.

Kiddush generously sponsored by Josh Bach, in memory of his beloved father,
Daryl Bach

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

Yonatan Grad, in honor of your congregation, which honored me with an aliyah and kindness when I davened with you during the year of mourning for my mom.


Parashat Tzav

“…After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Rabbis looked for something that could cause a sense of renewal, awe, wonder, and mystery comparable to what animal sacrifice was meant to achieve. They and their followers found that reading, studying, and debating issues raised in the Torah could also bring them into God’s presence.

Questions about the effectiveness of study as a means of korban were raised in the eighteenth century — in the time of Israel Baal Shem Tov. His great contribution was to find a way of approaching God that was available to those lacking the privilege of having time to study. They could approach God through joy, through dance, through song, and-above all-through authenticity.

As a historical religion, Judaism sees time and context as important aspects of life, meaning that what may have been appropriate at one time can become inappropriate at another. Just as language and customs change, so does Judaism, as it moves from an agricultural to an urban setting. We are then faced with a serious problem: we must determine which aspects of Judaism are essential, persist through time, and are timeless, and which are culturally driven and have therefore become outdated. Reform Judaism has never lost sight of the distinction, by recognizing the timeless value of drawing close to God while never aspiring to return to Temple worship and to offering animal sacrifices as a way of drawing close to God.

Here we stand, at the start of the twenty-first century, asking the same question asked by the Rabbis after the destruction of the Second Temple and by Israel Baal Shem Tov in the eighteenth century: What can now serve as our korban ? We need to regard this question as an invitation to being open to and aware of when, in our own experiences, we feel near to God. We think of the time we bathed our tiny baby; we remind ourselves of helping in a soup kitchen and seeing the smiling, grateful faces; we recall an early morning walk, watching the light slowly illuminate the city. We can search our memories for occasions when we felt God’s presence and charge ourselves to recognize the invitation to daily korban. Thus begins a wonderful adventure to discover what in fact brings us nearer to God.”

Dr. Carol Ochs is director of Graduate Studies and adjunct professor of Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York.

Rabbi Alan Lucas: Can We Talk About Israel Anymore?

Wednesday, March 30, 12:00 p.m.
Bernstein Shur (5th Floor), 100 Middle Street, Portland
Respectful dialogue and brown bag lunch-and-learn hosted by the JCA’s Community Relations Council in partnership with the Center for Small Town Jewish Life

Shaanan Streett: Secular Israel and Peace in the Middle East

Wednesday, March 30, 7:30 p.m.
USM Glickman Library (7th Floor), Bedford Street/Forest Ave, Portland
A talk geared for young adults and college students presented by the Southern Maine Hillel and USM Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

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

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.


Mar 12 – Cancelled
Mar 19 – Tefillat Yelidim (10:35) at Shaarey Tphiloh
Mar 26 – Shabbat Club (10:35) and Minyan Katan (11:30) at Temple Beth El
Apr 2 – Tefillat Yelidim (10:35) at Shaarey Tphiloh
Apr 9 – Shabbat Club (10:35) and Minyan Katan (11:30) at Temple Beth El
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

18 Adar II Daryl Bach
21 Adar II Frances Kroot
23 Adar II Rose Karlin, Bernard Resnick, Manuel Young

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