A Progressive Jewish Congregation in Portland, Oregon
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Shir Tikvah News


  Over the ages, Shavuot has become a time for study well into the night. The mystics had the idea that at midnight the heavens open and favorably receive the thoughts, study, and prayers of those who remain awake on the anniversary of the Revelation. Today, typical study sessions on the holiday might consist of a series of seminars on a variety of topics based on ancient or modern texts, Jewish history, or current events. (They also usually involve blintzes, cheesecake or some other dairy dessert.) Here at Shir Tikvah, we have had some very generous book donations over the past year. We’d like to pass some of these volumes on to you for your own study this year on Shavuot – you’ll find them downstairs during Torah study. Please give them a good home! (Blintzes not included.)

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Shabbat at Home Friday, June 3

Due to the heat, we will not be holding services here at the shul on erev Shabbat. We invite you to welcome Shabbat at home with your family this week. Morning services and Torah Study will be held on June 4.

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On Jewishness and Dirt

Along with his partner Ilana Rose Cloud, author Jonathan Strunin owns and operates Tuv Ha’aretz Portland, Portland’s Jewish Farm Box program, bringing local sustainable produce and Jewish food to Portland Last week, I found myself in a common position: knees on the ground, hands dipped in soil, showing small children how to plant leeks, potatoes and tomatoes. Around me was a dizzying chaos of happy preschoolers and parents looking for beetles and worms and ants, smelling and tasting plants, and generally getting a good dose of life in the dirt. So it was striking to me when, not once but twice, adults refused to shake my soil-covered hands. I get it, especially as one of these adults was a community leader and very put together – you don’t want to get your nice clothes dirty sometimes. But it got me thinking about what being “Jewish” means to me. Let me explain.

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Kavanah: Pray Like You Mean It

Join Rabbi Jonathan Kligler of the Lev Shalem Institute of Woodstock, NY, for a Shabbat exploration of kavanah (intention.) Rabbi Kligler has a special gift for creating settings that invite and inspire openness, insight, and self revelation. Drawing on his passionate love of music and dance, as well as his evocative skills as a writer, he brings a rich and varied palette to his life’s work: sharing the joy, love, and wisdom of Judaism.   Erev Shabbat Welcoming Shabbat – The Power of Intention May 20th @ 6:30 pm Shabbat Morning Awakening to Gratitude and Joy May 21st @ 10:30 am Havdalah and Evening Program Kavanah, as Taught by Our Sages May 21st @ 7:00 pm

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The new Shir Tikvah men’s group  will meet every other Wednesday at the shul, beginning April 27th at 7:00 pm. The group has chosen to begin the next four meetings with an informally facilitated discussion of a book, “The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man” by Abraham Joshua Heschel.  Following the discussion, the group will focus on getting to know the interests of its members and develop future programs. The group’s initial focus on the theme of Sabbath (Shabbat) was chosen because of the universal Jewish practice of celebrating Shabbat as a means to separate sacred time from secular time. From Wikipedia “The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man” is a work on the nature and celebration of Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. This work is rooted in the thesis that Judaism is a religion of time, not space, and that the Sabbath symbolizes the sanctification of time. Abraham Joshua Heschel

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An Evening of Stories, Spirits and Celebrations

A benefit for Shir Tikvah Join us for local storytellers, hors d’oeuvres and spirits, and an ice cream dessert experience by Morgan St Theater. Plus, we’ll raise a glass in honor of Rabbi Ariel Stone’s silver jubilee. SATURDAY, MAY 7                              p:ear GALLERY 7-10 pm                             338 NW 6th Avenue Tickets HERE No need to “log in” – just hit the “register now” button **21 and over event**

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The Mitzvah of Ma’ot Hittin

As we prepare ourselves spiritually and physically for Pesakh, it is Shir Tikvah’s minhag to consider a short weekly teaching on a central focus of the holy day to come. One of the most important lines in the Pesakh Seder is kol dikhfin yeytey v’yekhol, “let all who are hungry come and eat”. While some of us worry about which grains or what grains or no grains in our diets, there are some who go without against their will. It is an ancient Jewish ethic to ensure that all have what they need to celebrate the Festival of Freedom. We fulfill the mitzvah ofMa’ot Hittin, “money for wheat”, by donating to support the effort to get matzah into every Jew’s hands for the Seder. For many years Shir Tikvah has participated in our Jewish community’s Ma’ot Hittin collection both by donating money and by packing boxes. Find out more HERE. We can’t

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Cinema Tikvah Presents

Join us on  Saturday, April 2 at 6:30 for Havdalah and “My So-Called Enemy”      MY SO-CALLED ENEMY is a documentary about a group of Israeli and Palestinian teens who come to the US for a leadership conference. The film follows several of the girls for 7 years, and we see how their experience of knowing their “enemies” as human beings meets with the realities of their lives back home in the Middle East. This is not a movie that steers away from the difficulties, obstacles, or pain, but a potent document of possibilities and barriers to resolving the conflict. Popcorn during and desserts afterward! All are welcome to join us.

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Makelah is Back

    AND YOU’RE INVITED! 7:15-8:15 pm at the synagogue If you like to sing, this group is for you. Do you have to sing well? No! Do you have to read Hebrew or music? No! Do you have to want to sing with other people (as opposed to, say alone in the shower or in your car)? Yes! Leora Troper and Tivona Reith will be tag-team leading this very informal singing group. Come and learn new folk, liturgical and other kinds of songs in Hebrew, as well as some of the new melodies for Shabbat morning davening. A note on the leaders: Tivona and Leora come from charmingly different backgrounds and experience, both musically and Jewishly. You may notice this in their choices for songs to teach and sing. They both feel strongly that variety is the spice of life. No age limit, although an ability to read in

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Our Kitchen is Your Kitchen

Hamantaschen (and other Purim baking) Sunday, March 20th @ 2:00 p.m. If you can, bring your recipes and ingredients to the shul. Use our ovens, baking sheets and utensils.  (We will have some staples on hand in case you forget something.) Don’t have recipes or ingredients? Come anyway – your hands are enough.    Why get together to bake before Purim? a. It’s fun. Communal ovens are at the heart of the Jewish experience for centuries. Whether it was baking pita over the fire or carrying challah to the baker’s oven in the shtetl, we used to be together at cooking time. b. It’s a mitzvah to give gifts of food for the holiday. Hamantaschen, the triangular cookies that recall either Haman’s hat or Haman’s ears depending on the source, are traditional, but so are many other cakes and cookies. It’s an easy hands-on way to spread joy on the holiday. c.

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