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

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh

Please join us in our new location

Saturday morning services
9:30 a.m. Room 4A
400 Deering Avenue
Portland, Maine

December 3, 2016 – 3 Kislev 5777

Shabbat Toledot
Genesis 25:19-28:9
Haftarah: Malachi 1:1-2:7

Candle lighting 3:46

Shabbat Service Saturday at 9:30 a.m.


Our Kiddush is generously sponsored by
David and Brenda Gold in memory of
Josephine and Myron Gold


Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh extends its condolences to the family of Jacob Cinamon, who died on Tuesday, Heshvan 21 5777 – November 22, 2016.

Ner Lamaore

Donna and Larry Geller, in honor of Lorraine and Jonas Smith’s 60th wedding anniversary
Karen Brenner,
in honor of Lorraine and Jonas Smith’s 60
th wedding anniversary
Nathan Weiss,
in memory of Esther Weiss
Cedric Minkin,
in memory of Maurice Minkin
Ruth Cohen,
in memory of Sarah Lerman
Ellen Forman,
in memory of her uncle, Maurice Cohen
Ellen Forman,
in memory of Annabelle Mack
Lorraine and Jonas Smith,
in memory of Lorraine’s sister, Ida Cohen
Suzanne and Joel Krane,
in memory of Rose Krane

Parashat Tolededot

“…I imagine that the patriarch Isaac felt the same anxiety, as he is often seen as living in the shadow of his father. Abraham was a trail-blazer, taking his clan to a new land to establish a monotheistic religion and forming an everlasting covenant with God to found a new nation. He did not leave a lot of space for the son born to him late in life, Isaac, to do more than continue his legacy—much as the achievements of earlier activists can feel limiting to today’s aspiring leaders.

Yet our awe for these accomplishments is often tinged with disappointment when we find that our predecessors’ work was left unfinished. We sometimes feel as though we’re fighting the same battles, still struggling for a renewed and repaired world despite their best efforts. In Parshat Toldot, Isaac experiences this frustration, discovering that some of his father’s achievements were not fully realized. In one example, a conflict over the digging of wells that Abraham had attempted to resolve in his day reignites when Isaac comes to dwell in the same land. Abraham’s tenuous treaty with the local Philistine king, Abimelech, collapses when Isaac begins to prosper, and the Philistines stop up the wells that Abraham had dug, forcing Isaac from the land.1

I can understand how Isaac, re-entangled in a conflict of the past, might be discouraged, tempted to give up on finding his own resolution. Indeed, at first he tries to avoid conflict by moving—three times—to dig new wells, comforting himself with the thought that God has blessed everyone with a lot of space in which to live.2

But when the quarrel over water follows him to Beer-sheba, God appears, launching a turning point for Isaac: “I am the God of your father Abraham,” God says. “Fear not, for I am with you, and I will bless you and increase your offspring3 The blessing, simultaneously invoking the greatness of his father and foreseeing Isaac’s future as his own man, gives Isaac the courage to secure the lasting peace that Abraham failed to achieve. When Abimelech later comes to meet him with an entourage, Isaac, backed by God’s assurance of support, has the strength to confront the Philistine king about his harassment: “Why have you come to me now, seeing that you have been hostile to me?”4 Stunned by Isaac’s directness, Abimelech is forced to recognize God’s hand in Isaac’s prosperity, and swears a treaty between them that holds for future generations. The Torah underscores that the conflict has been finally put to rest: While Abimelech and Abraham merely parted ways after their treaty5 Isaac and Abimelech depart “in peace.”6

Just as Isaac had to finish the work left behind by the patriarch Abraham, we too often find that previous generations of iconic activists left us to resolve some of the greatest problems of global injustice, even after their groundbreaking achievements. Despite the freedoms gained by the historic fall of apartheid, South Africa today still faces tremendous xenophobia7 and racism,8 with many black citizens still living in abject poverty,9 marginalized in shantytowns and slums….”

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster
To read more, go to:

Rosh Chodesh
Pirkei Avot

Rabbi Eliezer 45:

Rosh Chodesh has come to be associated with women as according to the following a Midrash: “The women heard about the construction of the golden calf and refused to submit their jewelry to their husbands. Instead they said to them: “You want to construct an idol and mask which is an abomination, and has no power of redemption. We won’t listen to you.” And the Holy One, Blessed be, rewarded them in this world in that they would observe the new moons more than men, and in the next world in that they are destined to be renewed like the new moon.”


Thanks to Tom Berman for his patient assistance
with all things electronic.


Led by volunteers Jeff & Abby Halpern

Temple Beth El Youth Lounge/Library (off of the Social Hall)

Joint Temple Beth El and Shaarey Tphiloh children’s Shabbat services will be held on the first and third Saturday every month through June.

– Tefillat Yeladim (K – 5th grade): Starting around 10:30 am. Kids will be collected from each minyan or the halls. We will finish around 11:30 am.

– Tot Shabbat (Toddler – Pre K): Starting at 11:15 am, parents, please drop off your kids at the Youth Lounge (off of the Social Hall). Kids will be returned in time for Adon Olam at the parents’ minyan.

In all programs, children within the age range are welcome to attend while parents are at either shul. Kids older than the age range are welcome to attend as special helpers. Kids younger than the age range are welcome to attend with parent’s company.

We welcome special guests (including parents or grandparents). Please email Jeff at if you want to be listed as a special guest.

 Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine
Judaica Advisory Committee

The Sampson Center’s Judaica Advisory Committee at USM is seeking new members. Those who are interested in discussing membership on the committee should care about Maine Jewish history, preservation or collecting. If you are a creative thinker and value the preservation of the record of Maine Jewish life, call Committee Chairperson Susan Cummings-Lawrence at 799-9257 or e-mail at for more details.

Learn how the committee works, about future activities and the group’s connections with the Sampson GLBT Advisory Committee and the African-American Advisory Committe

Grades 11-12 Community High School Program

Avis Smith

A community monthly class for students in grades 11 and 12 will be offered on Sundays from 5:00-6:30 PM. Registration is now under way.

Everything You Never Knew about Judaism!
(All the things you would not have learned in Religious School…)

We are excited to offer once again a Jewish studies program that is open to all high school juniors and seniors in Southern Maine. Our hope is that this program will provide an opportunity to get to know other Jewish high school students from the region, and to study and learn in an informal but stimulating environment. Teacher: Avis Smith

The classes will meet once a month, for a total of nine sessions, on Sundays, from 5:00 – 6:30 PM (no dinner, only snacks). This year’s dates are: September 25, October 30, November 20, December 18, January 22, February 12, March 25, April 30, and May 14.

The cost is $100. for the year. Classes will meet at Congregation Bet Ha’am in South Portland. For more information and to register call Louise at 879-0028.

Holocaust Studies with Anna Wrobel

~ Holocaust Cinema: rare and esoteric films, some from the direct postwar period, most of European origin.
Classes will meet from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on Wednesdays – 10/26; 11/30; 12/21; 1/25; 3/1. Films are listed at the JCA link below
~ Primo Levi ‘book club’: one book per month (not provided). Books and ordering information are listed at the JCA link below.
Classes will meet from 6:00-8:00pm on Wednesdays – 11/2; 12/7; 1/4; 2/1; 3/8 $100.
All classes held will be at JCA – 57 Ashmont Street, Portland, Maine

Yahrzeits This Week

4 Kislev David Davidson, Payson Erlick, J. Leo Greenberg, Emanuel Kolko, David Sulka
5 Kislev Tena Dvilinsky, Max Frager, Eleanor Gerber, Samuel Gordon, Louis Krane, Rose Moss, Harry Rosenthal
6 Kislev Mamie Cinamon, Ann Gordon, Alfred Hartglass, George Hugo, Mark Slotsky, Oscar Tabachnick
7 Kislev Nathan Freedman, Gertrude Yoffa
8 Kislev Haskell Slotsky
9 Kislev Florence Berenson, Ida Cohen, Benjamin Fineberg, Reva Mack, Charles Serota
10 Kislev Arleen Druker, Robert Goodman, Faige Romanow, Philip Rosen

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

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