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

October 15, 2016 – 13 Tishri 5777
Candle lighting 5:36 p.m.

Rabbinic Interns Josh Pernick and Levi Mastrangelo

 Kiddush generously donated by
Lou and Shul Bornstein in memory beloved, devoted Mother and Wife, Doris (Dvora) Bornstein (Googie).


Sukkot Schedule
See Below 


Annabelle Mack died on Tuesday, October 4 in Falmouth, Maine. She was a lifelong, actively involved member of Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh. We mourn the passing of this exemplary Eshet Chayil, Woman of Valor.

Her funeral was held at the Portland Jewish Funeral Home in the Levey Chapel at 12 noon on Friday, October 7. Rabbi Moshe Wilansky and Rabbi Gary Berenson led the service.

Following the funeral, friends and family are invited to the Chabad House at 11 Pomeroy Street in Portland for a meal. Shiva was held in Montreal.

Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh extends its condolences to her family, brother and sister Gerald Boxstein and Bernice Bratz, and friends.

Ner Lamaore

Lorraine and Jonas Smith, in memory of Annabelle Boxstein Mack
Teri Berenson,
in memory of Annabelle
Irving Grunes,
in memory of Phineas Grunes

Parashat Haazinu: The Mighty One

Deuteronomy 32:31 For their mighty one is not like our Almighty, yet our enemies sit in judgement.

For their mighty one is not like our Almighty – Rashi: All this the enemies should have understood, that Hashem delivered them, and victory is neither theirs nor their gods’ for until now their gods were powerless against our Almighty (our Tzur), for their rock is not like our Rock . The word “tzur” in the Scripture always denotes a rock.

What is Rashi saying?
Rashi offers a simple explanation of these words. The enemies’ victories over Klal Yisroel should have been understood by these very same enemies as a miraculous victory, one dictated by G-d, inasmuch as these enemies were never able to subdue Israel in the past.
This is all very clear. But Rashi’s last words are puzzling. He explains the meaning of the (quite common) word “Tzur” as rock. Not only is this word a common one, but it has already appeared about six times in this parsha already! If Rashi thought we didn’t know its meaning, why didn’t he explain it earlier? This is a real puzzle, and understanding it will show you Rashi’s unique genius.Is this verse different from the previous verses, in any significant way?

Understanding Rashi
An Answer: The word “tzur” can mean either “rock” or “creator,” as in “Yotzer ohr.” Rashi makes it clear that it does not (in a p’shat sense) mean “creator.” In all the previous verses when the Torah uses the word “tzur” it refers to the God of Am Yisroel. This is the first time that the Torah uses the word “tzur” to refer to their gods. Therefore this is the first time it is necessary for Rashi to be quite clear that the word does not mean “creator.” That couldn’t be so, since here the reference is to idols. But all previous uses of this word in our parsha referred to Hashem, therefore Rashi saw no need to correct any “misunderstanding” since if we translate “tzur” as “creator” and not as “rock” that too would be appropriate, because God is The Creator.
We see here a very unusual sensitivity on Rashi’s part to the student’s understanding of the text. Rashi steps in only when he thinks it is necessary, and not otherwise.

Avigdor Bonchek


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. 

Shaarey Tphiloh Deconsecration Ceremony
YouTube Video

View the Shaarey Tphiloh deconsecration ceremony and last service at
76 Noyes St. on YouTube here.

Sunday Simcha
WMPG 90.9
Sunday mornings from 6:30-8:30am

Long time DJ, Gail Wartell, has left WMPG. Now, two hours of fabulous Jewish music is brought to you by volunteer DJs from the community. Shaarey Tphiloh members, Natan and Yoel Kahn, are your occasional hosts.Listen to recent shows from 9/11 and 9/25 at See Archives.

Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

The Samspon Center at USM is seeking a new member or two for its Judaica Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee works with the Special Collections department of the Glickman Library in matters related to Jewish issues. Call Chairperson Susan Cummings-Lawrence at 773-0693 for more information.

Holiday Schedule

You can find a complete schedule for the holidays through Simchat Torah at our website, weekly e-mail announcements and in the new Shaarey Tphiloh space at 400 Deering Avenue.

Tel: 773-0693

See us on Facebook


Please join Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh in our new location 400 Deering Ave, Room 4a, Portland, ME

Our speakers, prayer leaders, Torah readers and shofar blowers include:
Rabbinic interns and Chazzanim – Josh Pernick and Levi Mastrangelo from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Eitan and Yoel Kahn – Chazzanim
Natan, Yoel and Yoni Kahn – Torah readers
Teddy Lockman and Natan Kahn – Shofar

Sukkot services

First night of Sukkot
Sunday, October 16th

Candlelighting at 5:36 pm
Maariv (evening service) at 5:40 pm

First and second days of Sukkot
Monday, October 17th and Tuesday, October 18th

Shacharit (morning service) at 9:30 am
Mincha (afternoon service) TBA
Shmini Atzeret
Monday, October 24th

Shacharit (morning service) at 9:30 am
Yizkor (Memorial service) at 11:15 am

Simchat Torah
Tuesday, October 25th

Shacharit (morning service) at 9:30 am

Join Shaarey Tphiloh and Temple Beth El in dancing and singing in celebration of the Torah


A piyyut is a Jewish liturgical poem, usually designated to be sung, chanted, or recited during religious services. Piyyutim have been written since Temple times. Most piyyutim are in Hebrew or Aramaic, and most follow some poetic scheme, such as an acrostic following the order of the Hebrew alphabet or spelling out the name of the author.


Many piyyutim are familiar to regular attendees of synagogue services. For example, the best-known piyyut may be Adon Olam (“Master of the World”), sometimes (but almost certainly wrongly) attributed to Solomon ibn Gabirol in 11th century Spain. Its poetic form consists of a repeated rhythmic pattern of short-long-long-long, and it is so beloved that it is often sung at the conclusion of many synagogue services, after the ritual nightly saying of the Shema, and during the morning ritual of putting on tefillin. Another well-beloved piyyut is Yigdal (“May God be Hallowed”), which is based upon the Thirteen Principles of Faith developed by Maimonides.


Important scholars of piyyut today include Shulamit Elizur and Joseph Yahalom, both at Hebrew University.


Google PiyutNorthAmerica and Old Piyyut for information about selichot piyyutim, recordings, chant cards and more. Also, there are many YouTube videos of choirs and individuals singing piyyutim.

Leonard Cohen New Song You Want it Darker

This song will put you in mind of forgiveness, of yourself and others, and redemption, especially at the end of life. He is still writing poetry and music at 82!

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
See JCA Adult Education link below for details.

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.

Yahrzeits This Week

13 Tishri Sarah Grant, Phineas Grunes

14 Tishri Morris Cohen, Louis Medow

15 Tishri Miriam Freedman, Augusta Goberman, Herman Govensky, Jessie Price

16 Tishri Anna Freedman, Alice Hoffman, Fannie Kaplan, Bella Micohen, David Shatz

17 Tishri Abraham Sheper

18 Tishri Harry Citrin, Bertha Garber, Mark Krantman, Diana Resnick, Harry Weisman

19 Tishri Louis Seavey, Tillie Silverman, Bessie Slosberg, Rose Weinman, Rose Weiswasser, Martie Wolf

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

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