TIME: Saturday mornings from 9-10:30am
PLACE: Downstairs* at Bridgeport
*Please note: Our downstairs space doesn’t meet current ADA standards for accessibility. There is a staircase of about 8 steps down.
Every Shabbat morning, between 35 and 50 people gather to consider the parashat hashavua (the Torah reading of the week). Adults of all ages and backgrounds go through the reading verse by verse to unearth the meaning of our sacred text and its continuing relevance to our lives today. Shir Tikvah was founded on Torah Study and it remains at the center of our congregational life.
If you have a copy of a Torah Commentary (ideally with Hebrew and translation), please bring it to follow along with us. If you don’t have one, we’ll be happy to share one of ours.
Shir Tikvah provides the coffee, members sign-up to bring bagels and cream cheese. We’d love to welcome you to the conversation.
A Note From Rabbi Stone
Torah Study Nurtures the Community
Shir Tikvah was born out of Torah Study.
Shir Tikvah’s Torah study is an expression of the realization that spirituality is not only about the fulfillment of an individual need. As we’ve built this congregation, we’ve discovered that although we may decide to join and to participate because it fits our individual needs, once we are involved, we find that our personal spirituality is nurtured by the experience of belonging to a meaningful community.
The Bible is a history of actions and events, and leaves to us, to each and every reader, the task of speculation, an exciting task but one that carries the risks of exaggeration and fantasy. Nevertheless, let us dare to do, in the pages that follow, what many generations of readers before us have done, men and women who have read the spare biblical text according to their faith, the conventions of their age, and their own personal inclinations, and attached meanings and conclusions (and sometimes wishes and delusions) to every word and syllable.
– David Grossman, Lion’s Honey: The Myth of Samson
Torah study – the learning and growing community – occurs every Shabbat morning. Our Shabbat morning Torah study is the center of our congregation; it is the place where we work out what it means to be a Jew, and what it means to each one of us to be a Jew in community.
The energy of Torah study and the friendships developed through it offer our members a path toward becoming a kehillah kedoshah, a “holy community”: a place of mutual respect and commitment for each other as well as for the values we seek to live.
Do not say, “When I have leisure, I will study.” Perhaps you will have no leisure. (P. Avot 2.4)
No one is there every week, but there’s always a group. Not everyone talks, but there’s always a group discussion. Not every parasha brings an “aha!” moment, but you never know – it could be this one. Not every week brings a human connection, but somehow over time it happens: we become people who care about each other. Our learning community begins to generate energy that nurtures each one of us who participate in it.