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

November 12, 2016 – 11 Heshvan 5777
Shabbat Lekh Lekha

Genesis 12:1-17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16

Candle lighting 4:00 p.m.


Ner Lamaore

Hilde Jaffe, in honor of Jonas and Lorraine Smith’s 60th wedding anniversary

Lorraine and Jonas Smith, in honor of Theodore Lockman attaining the rank of Eagle Scout

Lorraine and Jonas Smith, in memory of Lorraine’s dear brother, Maurice Cohen

Bunny Harrington, in honor of Jonas and Lorraine Smith’s 60th wedding anniversary

Hildy Dunham, in loving memory of Annabelle Mack

Diane Kline, in memory of Celia Sibolkin

Stan and Doris Pollack, in memory of Lorraine Smith’s brother, Maurice Cohen

Parashat Lekh Lekha

We know why God chooses Noach. God even tells him why: “for you I have seen righteous before me in this generation.”
But why does God choose Avraham? Without any preamble, we read: “And the Lord said to Avram: lekh lekha. Why? Why command only Avraham and no one else?
The Sefat Emet offers a startling answer. God did not command Avraham alone. The charge of lekh lekha went out to the entire world. Avraham, however, was the only one who heard it:
For, behold, lekh lekha is proclaimed by God to all people, at all times. Avraham, however, was the only one who was able to hear it.”
God’s command – get up, move, don’t be complacent, force yourself out of your comfort zone and your comfortable surroundings, get out into the larger, challenging, unfamiliar world, take risks, seek out God, find your way to the promised land – this command goes out to all people tamid, constantly, at all times. But only a few are able to hear it. Only those who are listening can hear.
The ability to hear lekh lekha is rare. Most people either do not hear God’s voice at all or, if they hear it, only hear the voice that Noach heard. Not the lekh lekha but the aseh lekh. The clear, black-and-white command. The voice that tells you exactly what to do and how to do it. Build an ark. This high, this wide, this deep. Three levels, use this material, bring these animals, enter in on this day. Those directions they can hear and they can follow: “And Noach did exactly as God said.” Nothing less, and also nothing more.
To hear lekh lekha requires something different. It is to hear God’s silent commands that permeate every pore of existence. It is to sense these larger truths and begin to act on them even before they come fully into focus. It is to begin to travel to Canaan even in last week’s parsha, even before lekh lekhais clearly heard. It is to be so attuned to this ever-present voice of divine calling and divine truth that one can hear it, that one must hear it, even when God’s black-and-white, Noach’s voice seems to command otherwise.
Perhaps most importantly, to hear the call of lekh lekha is to hear the call of the entire world. It is to be aware of what is going on outside of our own families, our own communities. To care about the disadvantaged, the disabled, victims of abuse and of violence, victims of prejudice and bigotry, and to hear God’s insistent voice – lekh lekha – change this, make the world more moral, more Godly.
Read more~ Rabbi Dov Linzer ~ Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

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

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh Board of
Directors Meeting

The next Shaarey Tphiloh board meeting will take place Thursday, November 17, 2016, 6:30 p.m. at 202 Warren Avenue. Call 207-773-0693 for more information.


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.

Chevra Kadisha Annual Meeting

The Jewish Community is cordially invited to:
Portland Chevra Kadisha Annual Meeting
Sunday, November 13, 2016
10:00 am
Temple Beth El

A kosher breakfast will be served. Suggested Donation $18.00

Please RSVP to or call Paula Harris (207)799-9098

Israeli Poet Rachel Tzvia Back
Sunday November 20th

On Sunday November 20th Israeli poet translator and professor of literature Rachel Tzvia Back will be at Temple Beth El, 400 Deering Avenue in Portland. Her most recent translation collection, In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner, was a finalist for both the Jewish Book Award and the national Translation Award in Poetry (2015). Her own poetry collections include: A Messenger Comes (Elegies), On Ruins and Return, Azimuth and the forthcoming What Use is Poetry, the Poet is Asking.

Autumn Tercets  (October–December 2015)

“…The eastern winds like evening
jackals in the final shadowed wadi
never stop howling.
In first darkness they
scale the stony slope, thick
paws pounding at lowered blinds.
Our house circled, they hurl
themselves at panes and never stop

Rachel Tzvia Back

Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

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 Committee

John Zorn

This 1993 release documents an intense musical representation of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, a coordinated attack on Jews throughout the German Reich that occurred on November 9, 1938, during which Nazis, SS members, and Hitler youth broke into Jewish homes and businesses, assaulting the people and their property. The official German report tallied 7,500 businesses destroyed, 267 synagogues burned (with 177 totally destroyed), and 91 Jews killed. John Zorn has created a musical work that powerfully represents the different stages of this historical event. “Shtetl (Ghetto Life)” is beautiful yet apprehensive klezmer, interspersed with sound bites of German rallies and speeches that become more frequent, increasingly crowding the life from the music. This segues into “Never Again,” which, Zorn warns in the liner notes, “contains high frequency extremes at the limits of human hearing and beyond, which may cause nausea, headaches and ringing in the ears.” While nearly unbearable, it is a fitting sound representation of Kristallnacht, as thousands of layers of shattering glass assault the ears. “Never Again” is both effective and affecting, if you can listen. This onslaught is followed by the loud silence and emptiness of “Gahelet (Embers),” a walk through the immediate aftermath of wind, darkness, and destruction. Alley echoes are heard as sound is overwhelmed by a dread and horror beyond expressing, and no words can contain what might begin to form in the midst of shock. This is a heavy silence. Strings have gone haggard on the next composition, and from this point the album becomes less literal and explicit, moving away from poignancy and focus into more chaos. Zorn‘s forceful undertaking is realized through the expert and passionate musicianship of violinist Mark Feldman, guitarist Marc Ribot, keyboardist Anthony Coleman, bassist Mark Dresser, and percussionist William Winant, as well as guest trumpeter Frank London and clarinetist David Krakauer.

John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, klezmer, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions, which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as “one of our most important composers.”

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

12 Heshvan Leah Israel, Theresa Levin, Abraham Schwartz, Ann Serota
13 Heshvan Harry Branz, Lorna Lawrence, Gerald Pollack
14 Heshvan Louis Mack, Kalman Mandoff
15 Heshvan Lena Baker, Myer Mersky, Arthur Nelson, Sidney Sanford
16 Heshvan Goldie Freedman
17 Heshvan Goldie Altwerger, Rose Caplan, Ralph Feldman, Saul Passman, Rebecca Silverman, Louis Urdang
18 Heshvan Esther Branz, Eva Citrin, Benjamin Edison, Lena Ginsburg, Hyman Jacobson, Daniel Kornetsky, Rose Krane, Abraham Shatz

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

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