A Progressive Jewish Congregation in Portland, Oregon
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Shir Tikvah News

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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Come Dance with Us

Simkhat Torah this Friday night September 27th at 6:30 Bridgeport Join us as we celebrate and mark the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah readings and begin the cycle anew!  On this day, according to Hasidic teachings, “we rejoice in the Torah, and the Torah rejoices in us; the Torah too wants to dance, so we become the Torah’s dancing feet.” There will be a great band, light snacks and the first glimpse of the new Shir Tikvah Siddur. It’s a perfect time to share our joy with each other and to express gratitude toward the individuals who have created such a lasting gift to our community. Please bring dairy finger foods or drinks to share.      

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Sukkot: Erev Sukkot Tefilah 9/18 and Celebration 9/22

Join us for Erev Sukkot services on Wednesday, September 18! We’ll build the sukkah at 6 pm, and begin services at 7 pm. Shir Tikvah Congregational Sukkot Celebration and Annual Meeting Sunday Sept. 22 starting at 1 pm North Side of Bridgeport (where the trees are!) Please join us for our annual harvest gathering! We will be decorating the sukkah and pressing apples for cider. You can learn (or practice) the blessings with the lulav and etrog. And our Steering Committee members will be on hand to lend an ear for your feedback and concerns.Be sure to bring     harvest-related finger foods (dairy/pescetarian–veggie plus fish) to share     skhakh for the sukkah (roughly translates as large yard debris! branches, vines and such)     apples, and lots of them: about a pound per person!     your lulav and etrog set About 2:30, we’ll be holding our annual meeting. Come hear as

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Halakhah of Yom Kippur

Shalom Shir Tikvah Learning Community, As I suggested in my drash for erev Rosh HaShanah, learning the traditions of Jewish practice make your own Jewish choices feel better, since you know the context in which you are choosing (if you missed it that evening, you can find it here: erev Rosh HaShanah 5774 drash). In that spirit, I offer you this review of the halakhah for Yom Kippur. גמר חתימה טובה – g’mar hatimah tovah,  may you be sealed for a good year Rabbi Ariel Halakhah of Yom Kippur     Rav Zvi Leshem 1) Eve of Yom Kippur a)      ‪It is a mitzvah to eat and drink on the eve of Yom Kippur, and it is forbidden to fast (604:1). We do not say Tahanun (604:2). b)      ‪Even though the Shulchan Aruch opposes the custom of Kaparot (605:1),[1] Ashkenazim follow the Rama and perform Kaparot (Rama 605:1). Some use a chicken and

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High Holy Days 5774

Scheduled services for the Days of Awe: Erev Rosh HaShanah** September 4 7 pm Rosh HaShanah September 5 9 am Morning tefillah 12:30 pm Apples and Honey Kiddush for all 1 pm Family Tefillah 2:30 pm  Tashlikh Rosh HaShanah, Second Day September 6 No morning services at Shir Tikvah Shabbat Shuva September 6 6:30 pm Erev Shabbat Service September 7 9 am Torah Study 10:30 am Tefillah Erev Yom Kippur September 13 7:30 pm Kol Nidre** Yom Kippur September 14 9 am Yom Kippur morning tefilah; Yizkor will follow the Torah reading 1 pm Family Tefilah 2 pm Discussion with the Rabbi 3 pm Afternoon Services, including Minkha and Ne’ilah 7:30pm Break the Fast to follow **Evening services for Rosh HaShanah and Kol Nidre are limited to members and their guests only, with regrets, due to limited space in the sanctuary. Day services are open to all who have registered.

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Shabbat in the Park, August 16, Laurelhurst Athletic Field!

Join us August 16 at 6 pm for an amazing evening featuring Rabbi Ariel and J.D. Kleinke! They will lead us in a melodic Kirtan welcome to Shabbat. We’ll be at the Laurelhurst Athletic Field (corner of SE Stark and Cesar Chavez Blvd)–a change of location from last year’s event. Bring a picnic blanket or a beach chair and a picnic dinner. And to download a copy of the event flyer, click here.

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