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 26, 2016 – 25 Heshvan 5777

Shabbat Hayei Sarah
Genesis 23:1-25:18
Haftarah I Kings 1:1-31

Candle lighting 3:49

Shabbat Service Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Congratulations to Lorraine and Jonas Smith on their
60th Wedding Anniversary

Donna and Larry Geller, in memory of our grandmother, Dora Rudstein
Donna Geller, in honor of my brother, Larry Geller, on this 70th birthday
Donna and Larry Geller, in honor of Jonas and Lorraine Smith’s 60th anniversary

A Kiddush in honor of our parents’ 60th wedding anniversary
The Forman Family
The Dunham Family

Services led by Josh Pernick, rabbinic intern from
Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Congratulations to Lorraine and Jonas Smith on their
th Wedding Anniversary 

Ner Lamaore

Robert and Jane Herd, in memory of Lena Baker
Donna and Larry Geller, in memory of Lorraine Smith’s brother, Maurice Cohen



Parashat Hayei Sarah

From Rabbi Jill Hammer ~ “The Jewish Book of Days” who quotes Genesis Rabbah 60:5 about Rebekah: “All women went down and drew water from the well, whereas for her the water ascended as soon as it saw her. The Holy One of Blessing said to her, ‘You have provided a token for your descendants: as the water rose when it saw you, so it will be for your descendants. As soon as Miriam’s well sees them, it will immediately rise.’” Rabbi Jill also says, “It is as if Rebekah were the moon, creating a tide to pull the water upward. This gift symbolizes her connection to the Shekhinah who is also represented by the moon. (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 42a)

From Reb Zalman Legacy Project ~ “And before I had finished lidaber / speaking to my heart, behold, Rebecca came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder.” (Genesis 24:45).

The “speaking to my heart” refers to the previous line, where Eliezer, the servant of Abraham said, (ibid, 42), “And I came this day unto the well and said, ‘havaye God of my lord Abraham, etc.’“ And the prayer there was described here as a dibbur / speaking to the heart, i.e. that havaye dwells within the inside of the heart.

As explained by the holy Rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel of Apt, on the section of Leviticus 26:12,”And I will walk among you,” in the holy book, Ohev Yisrael, on section bechukotai, expounding on the text, “v’hit-halachti / and I will walk,” here’s what he says:

“For on the level of a human’s inner-space is the holy neshamah. And inside the neshamah is its source and its root which comes from the holy supernal world, which is the level and secret of the holy garden as is known [by Kabbalists] and it is the category of Yesod hamluchah hakadosha haelyona / the foundation of the holy supernal kingdom.” (End of quote, cf. there for the rest).

And [speaking to the heart / speaking to God] was explained in this great reference, i.e., how it is possible to speak to havaye as though S/He is outside of a person.
On the other hand, if one worships without speaking one to another, as an ‘I’ to a ‘You,’ then the prayer is only a thought within a person and will not effect a bringing about of God’s awe and mercy. In this case, it will be only as a heart feeling that does not fly toward on high.

So while the words are being spoken, at the same time, the intending must be in the heart, and this is how the prayer word bestirs.

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi from Yishmiru Daat (2009 revision), “Parashat Chaye Sarah,” p. 31
Torah Circle blog Torah text, commentaries and blog

A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

A thanksgiving psalm.
Shout out to the LORD, all the earth,
Worship the LORD in rejoicing,
Come before Him in glad song.
Know that the LORD is God.
He has made us, and we are His,
His people and His flock He tends.
Come into His gates in thanksgiving,
His courts in praise.
Acclaim Him,
Bless His name.
For the LORD is good,
Forever his kindness,
And for all generations His faithfulness.

-Tr. Robert Alter

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.

U.N. Israel Partition Day
November 29, 1947

Go to the Spielberg Jewish Film Archive Virtual Cinema to see online films on this and other topics

Watch documentaries, speakers and animated shorts about this historic event.

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 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

26 Heshvan Ruth Loeb, Bessie Nelson, Florence Wolff
27 Heshvan Simon Levi
28 Heshvan Howard Krantman, Michia Moravtshik, Dora Rudstein
29 Heshvan Morris Leavitt, Harry Potter, Rose Silverman, Anna Weinman, Annie Wolf
1 Kislev Albert Fineberg, Rose Shatz
2 Kislev Belle Matson
3 Kislev Zelda Levine

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

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