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


Congregational First Night Seder

Friday, March 30
Doors open at 5:30pm. Seder starts at 6:00 pm

In the sanctuary of the shul

SPACE IS LIMITED TO 140 MEMBERS: Registration will open at the beginning of March.

Join us for our annual planned potluck second night seder. Rabbi Ariel will lead the service, with a little help from everyone.

We are asking each family to bring their own wine or grape juice, haroset if you have some, pillows to relax with, and a copy of the haggadah we use, in addition to part of the meal. For families of 1-4 people, please bring one recipe. For families of 5-8 people, choose either two recipes to make or bring a double portion of one of them. To see the recipes, click here. Sign up to bring a dish here; follow the directions in RED.

We use the Compact Edition of A Different Night. The office has limited copies available for purchase here.



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 10th. 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 Thursday, March 29th by 5 pm. Email your itemized list to Rabbi at [email protected] and your hametz will be sold to Amelia. The hametz will be bought back after havdalah on April 7 and will legally belong to you again at that time.

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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