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

Our Annual Learning Theme

Jewish learning is iterative.  Thus, each year our Torah study begins its annual cycle with a section from Genesis, and then together we read forward through Exodus, then the long journey through the wilderness…  It’s a learning process by which we learn to see more in that which is familiar.   One tool for finding fresh insight in the text, and in our lives, is to bring a fresh lens—an annual learning theme– to our Torah discussions,  our communal celebrations and shared holy days.


Theme for 5774:  The Many Voices of Torah

“There is an old saying, ‘If you turn Torah over and over, it has seventy different faces.’.. The Torah is often compared to a prism and if we keep turning it we can see everything. However, our own vision is always refracted by a perspective so the Torah never shows the one truth. Our commandments can be understood differently at different times.  When we study the Torah together, each person sees something different in the text based off of the lens of their own experience. Good torah study is an opportunity to learn from each other. Torah doesn’t exist unless we are speaking and learning it, which means noticing what each other is bringing.”

Rabbi Ariel Stone


Poem Without an End

Inside the brand-new museum
there’s an old synagogue.
Inside the synagogue
is me.
Inside me
my heart.
Inside my heart
a museum.
Inside the museum
a synagogue,
inside it
inside me
my heart,
inside my heart
a museum.

By Yehuda Amichai , Translated By Chana Bloch
The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai
(The University of California Press, 1996)

Used by permission of Hana Amichai


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