A Progressive Jewish Congregation in Portland, Oregon
Shir Tikvah Office: 503-473-8227

Shir Tikvah News

To Give to Others…a chance to help make someone’s Thanksgivukkah better

You may have seen in your Week’s Worth that Shir Tikvah is sponsoring two families through Jewish Child Family Services this year. Among the highest mitzvot of helping another person is the privilege to do so anonymously. If you are able to donate any one (or more) of the following items, you will anonymously support two families in their material needs – and much more so, you’ll be reminding them that they are part of a caring Jewish community. Please drop whatever item you can donate at Nashira on November 10th or at the Shir Tikvah office by November 14. Donations may be new, or clean and gently used. You may prefer to donate a Fred Meyer gift card – which we will pool together to purchase more expensive items. Items that have been donated already are listed, but are stricken (like this) Family #43 This family has is faced

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Shabbat Hayyei Sarah 5774

I deliberately greet you as a “learning community” every time I send an erev Shabbat email, because I believe passionately that the key to meaningful life is learning. And I am not simply offering you an opinion. Our Jewish tradition asserts that if we are open to learning new insights, new perspectives, new ideas all the time – even in situations that don’t seem suited to learning – we can redeem a moment, even one that seems bleak and unforgiving. This Shabbat we read Hayyei Sarah, “Sarah’s life”. The parashah begins with the death of Sarah, our first Matriarch. Abraham mourns. He must buy a plot of land in which to bury her (until this point he has been a landless nomad). Then we read that Abraham gives some thought to his children’s future at this point, and the parashah ends with the marriage of his soon Isaac to Rebekah,

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Kley Kodesh this erev Shabbat, October 25 at 6:30 pm

J.D.’s back in town, and we’ll be having Kley Kodesh! Make plans to join us for this kirtan-style Shabbat service, followed by some socializing around the oneg. Please bring wine or juice (some for you, and some for our guests) and we’ll set out dessert and cheese platters. (If you simply MUST make a finger-food dessert, please let the office know so we can plan around it…you know who you are!)

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A Kley Kodesh Kirtan Service

J.D. Kleinke is back from Washington D.C. to lead a kirtan-style service. This meditative call-and-response type of prayer is both timeless and modern – take a break from your hectic life and welcome in Shabbat together. Friday, October 25th October 6:30 at Bridgeport Followed by wine, cheese and dessert.

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Tot Shabbat Starts This Weekend 10/19

It’s a Shabbat service geared for our youngest congregants and their caregivers. Join Sara Rose Cagle for songs and prayers, followed by bagels and schmoozing. 10:30 am on Saturday morning Downstairs at Bridgeport

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Shabbat Lekh Lekha 5774

Of the more arresting insights about this week’s parashah is that it describes G-d’s third attempt to create a world. The first attempt ended in a terrible, world-destroying flood. The second was not as cataclysmic, since G-d had sworn never to do that again, and set a bow in the clouds as a Divine reminder. Yet the second attempt also failed: even as the first humans had transgressed a boundary by reaching for G-dlike knowledge, so the Tower of Babel describes humanity’s naive hubris, displayed in an attempt to build a structure that would reach to G-d’s territory. Heaven, perhaps, or just a sort of safety unknown, and unknowable, to humans. This third attempt shows us a G-d far less ambitious, a creation with far less impact. Not a world, and not all of humanity – just one person. What a picture: G-d reduced to searching through the world for one person

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Do you like to sing?

Leora Troper, Nashira’s song leader last year, is looking for people who love music to join her in a new group. The Shir Tikvah makelah  will be meeting every three weeks on Wednesdays, starting October 16th. Leora’s only requirements are that you can read transliteration, follow directions, and stay focused. All ages and self-perceived singing abilities are welcome. Contact her directly to sign up – her email is in your member directory.

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Shabbat Noakh 5774: Don’t Give Up Just Because It’s Broken

The parashat hashavua for this week is Noakh, the week on which, as everybody knows, we read of the great Flood. But in year two of the Triennial Cycle, where we find ourselves this year, the flood is over: Noah has opened the window, and the dove has flown in with an olive leaf in its mouth. The Ark has come to rest and Noah and his family have emerged from it. This year we read the aftermath, and see G-d’s answer to the question: what do you do with it after it’s broken? In last week’s parashah, at the end of the Creation story, we saw how quickly things got out of hand. Humanity was barely created before we began to break things, make mistakes, and rebel against the idea that we should be obedient to G-d, and follow rules. Already by chapter 6 of Genesis, we are told:

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Melton Classes at Shir Tikvah! Thursday evenings

Melton Classic Many Jewish Topics, Many Jewish Perspectives Dates and Times: Thursdays, Oct. 17-May 29, 7:00-9:15 p.m. Register here. You will meet once a week for 2 and 1/4 hours to study topics in Jewish civilization (e.g. Shabbat, Marriage, What Happens When We Die, etc.). The Melton textbooks provide key selections from Jewish texts ranging in chronological order from the Torah, through the Talmud, Kabbalah, medieval sages, and more, to the present day opinions and interpretations of each denomination. In this way, students learn the depth and breadth of each topic, exploring each one from multiple points of view. Learn More about the Classic Course here. Contact Melton at 503-384-2476 or email. Take Melton Classic with a friend, spouse or partner and save $300 on tuition! Melton Spotlight Classes will also be offered concurrently on Thursday nights. Register for any or all of them here: Register Now Jewish Roots of

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Shabbat Bereshit 5774: Take a Bite

I’ve been holding on to a photograph I took in Israel this summer, waiting for the moment when I would write this email and share it with you. This is very simply a photograph of an apple I bought at the grocery story. The sticker on it it what makes it priceless. Bereshit (“Genesis”) taam Gan Eden (“the taste of the Garden of Eden”) The term Bereshit is the name of an Israeli fruit produce company. The word eden is related to the Hebrew word for pleasure, edna. The obvious reference is to the fruit of the garden of Eden, but the more playful reference is specifically to the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We don’t know what fruit is at the heart of the story, only that it is delights the eyes, and, we assume, the mouth as well. The Rabbis of the

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