A Progressive Jewish Congregation in Portland, Oregon
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Shir Tikvah News

Food Drive for the Days of Awe

Leviticus 19 tells us: “…Leave a corner of your field for the poor…” With the High Holy Days fast approaching, the annual Shir Tikvah food drive begins. While our fields are decidedly urban, we can all share a corner of our cupboards with those among us who are hungry. September is Hunger Action Month across the nation. We join the Oregon Food Bank’s effort to diminish—and eventually end—food insecurity in our community. Last year Shir Tikvah exceeded past years’ donations by raising $1,744 in cash and collecting 595 pounds of food. Taken together, what we raised provided 2,670 meals for people in need. Let’s do better. Let’s surpass last year’s donations of both foodstuffs and cash. Soon the white OFB barrels will appear at Bridgeport, as well as donation envelopes and handouts describing the most wanted foods and those that are unacceptable. Bear in mind that actual services will not

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Getting Ready for the Days of Awe

For a list of our services, please click HERE. In preparation for the Days of Awe –  the shofar is blown each morning and Psalm 27 read. Begin to think about who you need to forgive, and from whom you need to ask forgiveness. Join Rabbi Stone and the rest of Portland’s Jewish community at the Selikhot Teach-In and Tefilah this weekend. A Note on Language  from Rabbi Stone Shanah Tovah! The most generic greeting for the new year is goot yontiff, the Yiddish which means “good holiday”, or shanah tovah,Hebrew for “a good year”. The formal greeting for the New Year is based upon the traditional image of our fate being decided during the Ten Days of Awe – the most righteous are written in the book of life right away on Rosh haShanah, and for the rest of us, our fate is decided sometime during those days. So starting

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Writing Toward Wholeness

SUNDAY, AUGUST 30 at 1pm Join us for Elul: Writing Towards Wholeness, a free afternoon workshop led by Shir Tikvah member and professional writer and teacher Judith Pulman. First, write a word. Then, write a sentence, it will soon become a paragraph, and that will soon become a clutch of pages that matter. In a group setting, explore and write down stories and guiding principles that might yet be unexplored. Develop materials that you can use in an ethical will, a memoir, or a letter to a loved one. Beginners are welcome: all you have to do is relax and keep your pen moving. Sharing is optional. Bring something to write on (laptops ok.)   Continue the process: Writing workshop support circle with Tivona Reith Thursday, Sept 3 at 7pm Sunday, Sept 6 at 2.30pm Tuesday, Sept 15 at 7pm Sunday, Sept 20 at 2.30pm

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For the month of Elul: So That Your Values Live On–How to Compose an Ethical Will

From Rabbi Ariel: Shalom Shir Tikvah Learning Community, Your congregational family has long followed a lovely minhag (religious custom) for the month of Elul, that last month before Rosh HaShanah during which we spend time deliberately preparing ourselves for the Days of Awe. Our minhag is to read a book during that month and to come to the Rabbi’s Discussion on Yom Kippur afternoon to talk about issues and thoughts that the book provokes for us. The month of Elul began on August 15. This year, our book is linked to a larger perspective and offers a deeper kind of participation. This year, as we prepare to stand before G-d, ourselves and each other on Yom Kippur, I invite you to join me as we ask ourselves: what message does my life convey? So That Your Values Live On – Ethical Wills and how to prepare them Rabbis Jack Riemer

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Senator Merkley and the Iran Deal

On August 11, 2015, members of J Street, Rabbi Ariel Stone and other Portland area Jewish leaders met with Senator Jeff Merkley. They urged the Senator to vote in support of the JCPOA, known as the Iran Deal, which will block Iran’s pathway to building a nuclear weapon. For more facts from J Street on the Iran Deal, please click HERE. Pictured are: Senator Jeff Merkley Rabbi (Emeritus) Joshua Stampfer – Congregation Neveh Shalom Rabbi Ariel Stone – Congregation Shir Tikvah Professor (Emeritus) Nathan Cogan – Portland State University Ed Kraus – Congregation Neveh Shalom Elinor Gollay – Co-chair J Street Portland Joel Glick – Vice-President, P’nai Or of Portland Bruce Morris – Spiritual Leader, P’nai Or of Portland Nancy Becker -Congregation Havurah Shalom Beth Kaye – Congregation Havurah Shalom Gabriel Erbs – J Street U, Portland State University

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Shabbat – the special holy day that comes every week

Trick question: which holy day is the most special of all? Yom Kippur? Pesakh? Hanukkah? It’s Shabbat. The only one of our holy days mentioned in the Aseret haDibrot, the Ten Words which headline our Covenant – it’s #4. (How are they numbered? learn here.) Shabbat is not a place that we build, but a moment. The great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel ז״ל called Shabbat a “Sanctuary In Time.” Here are some building materials Shir Tikvah offers you as you create that special oasis in your life and that of your family, one week at a time. At Shir Tikvah, it’s where we become friends, check on each other, and celebrate life together. Shabbat at Shir Tikvah in 5776 erev Shabbat – Friday nights Kabbalat Shabbat dinner – Every month when there isn’t a congregational holiday meal already planned, there will be an potluck dinner to welcome Shabbat for us

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Shabbat shalom – Shabbat Nakhamu: Consolation?

Shalom Shir Tikvah Learning Community, This Shabbat, called Nakhamu after the first word of the Haftarah, meant to be a Shabbat of consolation. The first Shabbat after Tisha B’Av, that time of terrible destruction once long ago and now a time to face the equally terrifying consequences of our actions in our own days, is meant to reassure us that, after all the suffering and loss, consolation is possible. But on this day it is difficult to feel consoled. A Jew in Jerusalem – called the City of Peace! – attacks fellow Jews marching in the Gay Pride parade with a knife. Other Jews set fire to a Palestinian home and murder a child. Both in the name of religious faith. Jews in our own community attack each other. Not with weapons, not yet – G-d forbid – but the Rabbis of the Talmud taught that the tongue is as

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Shabbat: the Secret Spice

Our ancient ancestors used to mark the beginning of Shabbat by adding aromatic spices (we’re not exactly sure which) to their home oil lamp. The special aroma made sundown on Friday into the day of rest. The Rabbis encoded the concept of rest as a universal right in halakhah, the path of Jewish observance – for all people and for all life on earth. Wandering stateless in Exile, our people held on to Shabbat ever more determinedly. We created a musical welcome of Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat, to sing and dance our way out of the week; and no matter the poverty, our erev Shabbat meal had to be the best we could manage. “More than Israel has preserved the Shabbat, the Shabbat has preserved Israel.” – Ahad Ha’Am   That erev Shabbat meal became the focal point for the ritual that allowed us the relief of week’s end: The blessings

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Tisha B’Av Tefilah

Saturday, July 25 7:30 pm Tisha B’Av begins at sundown Saturday July 25   The 9th Day of Av has been marked as a day of mourning among the Jewish people for two millennia. What began as an internal communal day of fasting and prayer in remembrance of the past has become an opportunity for us as a people to examine our larger community, and the impact we have for good or ill. Together we can respond to mourning with hope. Want to respond to church burnings in South Carolina? Want to know how to help here at home? Join Rabbi Ariel at 7.30pm at Shir Tikvah. Judith Mallory, with the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, will speak on what we can do to work for good here in Portland.

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Raffle winners

A few lucky folks ‘rode’ away from our Simkha Cycla-Thon with a prize in hand. Paula, Joe, Ken and others had their names drawn in our raffle – winning challah, spirits, chocolate, gardening services and more. Thanks to our sponsors and volunteers who made the raffle (and the entire event) possible. See your Week’s Worth for more about the Cycla-Thon.

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