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


Plans are in progress for this year’s Pesakh season. Check back for more details after Purim!

Last year’s observances:

April 23rd
Doors open at 5:30pm. Seder starts at 6:00 pm

German-American Society
5626 NE Alameda


LGBTQ Study Seder

April 24th @ 5:00 pm, downstairs in the Beit Midrash
with Aaron Raz Link and Emma Lugo, hosted by Rabbi Ariel

Leviticus forbids us from pretending that a man who has sex with men is “a woman.” Queer lives aren’t mimics of heterosexual ones. So given that the customs of mitzrayim are forbidden, what kind of life, family, community can queer people create in the wilderness? How do we celebrate leaving the only culture of home we know, which has treated us badly, without either envy or hatred for the people who live there? How do we reconcile ourselves to celebrate a victory won only after a terrible plague?

Conversion Conversation

April 27th @ 6:30 pm, downstairs in the Beit Midrash
Pesakh is the foundational story of Jewish identity. Did you convert to Judaism? Come and share the story of the development of your Jewish identity. Open to all who have converted, no matter how long ago, and also open to those in the process of studying for conversion right now.

Dunk The Bear

April 30th @ 7:00 pm
By the end of Passover, most of us are sick of matzah and lusting after some of that good grain action – barley and wheat.  Join us for Dunk the Bear – an obscure Eastern in which a morsel of Passover food is dunked in beer to signal a joyous end to the holiday. In our case, the barley will be come in the form of beer by Leikam Brewing and the wheat will be pizza. Have a dunk, a drink and a bite with us.

Pesakh Mitzvot

The following are powerful ways to demonstrate your belief in our capacity to sustain each other with food.

Hametz sale

Every year, part of our preparation for Pesakh is in the gathering up of our hametz, in accordance with the mitzvah: “there shall be no leaven found in your homes; whoever eats leavening, that person shall be alienated from the congregation of Israel. Eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations you shall eat matzah.” (Ex. 12.19-20).

The mitzvah which requires us to rid our homes of hametz does not mean that we have to throw things away – that would be a violation of the mitzvah bal tashkhit, which prohibits waste or unnecessary destruction. Unopened items can be donated to food banks, certainly; but that which cannot be donated can be stored in an area in your home which will be off-limits during Pesakh (a cabinet which is taped shut, a basement shelf covered with a sheet, a box in the attic…). Halakah provides for those items to be sold for the duration of the holy day period.

Pesakh begins Monday evening, April 14th. Your home should be Pesadik and clear of the five grains – wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye – by that morning after breakfast.

The deadline for getting the list to Rabbi to be part of the hametz sale is Friday, April 3rd by 10 am. Email your itemized list to Rabbi at rabbiarielstone@gmail.com and your hametz will be sold to Rev. Tara. The hametz will be bought back on April 11 and will legally belong to you again at sundown.

Ma’ot Hittin – Helping others to celebrate

Every year Shir Tikvah has volunteered food, money and/or time to our Jewish community’s local effort to make sure that all those who are obligated to fulfill the mitzvah of holding a Seder are able to do so. See this site Ma’ot Hittin  to help out this year.

Let all who are hungry eat

The third way to honor our Festival’s teachings is to collect all the food that you cannot store and give it away to a food bank – or simply write a check to that food bank.

From the Rabbi:

Kol Dikhfin Yeytey v’yeykhol – Let All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat

The focus on food during Pesakkh is based on an essential and ancient human anxiety: what will sustain us?

Once upon a time, it was a rare thing to eat to satiety, and outside of granaries in which communities could store extra foodstuffs, there was no guarantee of survival during drought. (See a report on an 11,000 year old granary found in an archaeological dig – our ancestors probably would have easily recognized it!)

It was a real act of faith to fulfill the commandment to clear out all the old grain at the spring season of Pesakh, and eat only the new as it was harvested, in the simple form of flat, unleavened bread. It was – and still is – a statement of trust in the communities that sustain us through distribution systems and agriculture, and as well, in the Source of Life that causes the grain to grow reliably every single year.

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