Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

Welcome to Shabbat Services
Parashat Pekudei

March 11-12, 2016 –  2 Adar II 5776

Saturday morning services at 9:30

Exodus – 38:21-40:38
Haftarah: I Kings 7:40-50



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

Harriet Levi, in memory of beloved mother-in-law Rebecca Levi

Harriet Levi, in memory of beloved father, Abraham Diner

Ellen Cramer, in memory of Stacey Baum

Josh, Jennifer and Ben Romanow, in memory of Faith Ann Romanow






“…This Shabbat, we ourselveshave reason to celebrate a completion because, with Parashat Pekudei, we will complete the reading of the book of Exodus. To celebrate the conclusion of reading this book, it is our custom to stand as the reader chants the last lines, and we exclaim the words chazaq chazaq wenitchazeq (be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen ourselves). As Jeffrey Tigay, in his article on the history of this phrase in the Etz Chayim Commentary notes, the words themselves are an echo of ancient warriors encouraging each other in battle, but in our synagogues the military exhortation has been transformed into a wish for spiritual strength. The words will have a special resonance for those of us who have just heard the last few verses of the book of Exodus being recited.


The first chazaq (be strong) will be directed to the person who receives the honor of the last aliyah. We will congratulate him on this mark of distinction and wish him a yishar koah (literally, firmness of strength). The second chazaq (be strong) will be directed to the Torah reader for devoting much time and effort in preparing this passage to ensure that his reading is accurate and melodious. We will congratulate him also, and wish him strength to persevere in preparing the next book of the Torah. The third word, wenitchazeq (and let us strengthen ourselves), will be directed at ourselves. We will congratulate ourselves at having had the honor of witnessing the completion of the reading of this book, and we will encourage ourselves to be present at the completion of the reading of the other books of the Torah. Chazaq chazaq wenitchazeq—be strong, be strong, and let us strengthen ourselves! Shabbat shalom umevorach..”


Dr. David Marcus, professor of Bible, Jewish Theological Seminary



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 several times in the coming months. Please join us:

March 19―Four Mitzvot of Purim

April 23―Passover


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

4 Adar II Simon Goberman, Beatrice Levi, Bene Stern

5 Adar II Samuel Berman

6 Adar II Rebecca Levi

7 Adar II Richard Chase, Lena Crasnick, David Mack, Isidor Schraer

8 Adar II A.S. Levey

9 Adar II Isidor Seiger


Shaarey Tphiloh is now celebrating 112 years as a traditional Jewish spiritual home in Maine!

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