Shir Tikvah, Portland Oregon
Torah - Learning Gemilut Hasadim - Social Action Avodah - Prayer Singing Meditation


Shir Tikvah’s Annual Elul Book:
Preparing your soul for the High Holy Days: Shir Tikvah reading for the month of Elul
Join us in reading Repentance: The Meaning and Practice of Teshuvah, by Dr. Louis E. Newman
Every year during the preparatory month of Elul, members of Shir Tikvah read a book together. Rabbi Ariel sends weekly emails exploring the book’s themes,
and on Yom Kippur afternoon we’ll discuss it together (you will not have to read the book to join in the conversation, but it helps).
  • How do we overcome our evil impulses?
  • What traits do we most need to cultivate in order to repent?
  • How can we repent to those we have wronged?
  • How can we repent to those who have died or who are no longer reachable?
  • How can teshuvah enable us to make peace with our transgressions while also helping us to develop a stronger sense of responsibility?
What does it truly mean to turn? Go deeper this year in your ability to experience the “wake-up call” by spending some time during Elul learning about teshuvah - the most key, and difficult, concept of the Days of Awe.
Copies of the book are available on Kindle, iBook and Kobo here: Jewish Lights
or in print here: AddAll 
A few are available at the office. Contact Amelia to purchase a copy.


Readings for previous Elul:

For 5773: What is Your Jewish Identity?

This year Rabbi Ariel invites you to read with her a provocative, annoying, insightful, funny, and fascinating novel which examines Jewish identity: the 2010 winner of the Booker Prize, Howard Jacobsen’s The Finkler Question.  Throughout the month of Elul Rabbi will invite conversations about aspects of Jewish identity that are related to the book during Shabbat services as part of our shared spiritual preparation for the High Holy Days, and The Finkler Question will provide the basis for our Yom Kippur afternoon Discussion With the Rabbi. To whet your appetite, enjoy this review.

From the Rabbi: we’re upgrading Shir Tikvah High Holy Days prayers for 5772

I am excited to announce that the Shir Tikvah Tefilah committee and I have found an excellent High Holy Day Mahzor (prayer book for the High Holy Days) for Shir Tikvah the Mahzor Lev Shalem . This book promises to enhance our prayer experience during the Days of Awe both as a community and as individuals. It will replace the multiple handouts we have used since our beginning as a congregation.

Unlike our siddur, our weekly prayer book, of which we keep copies for both members and guests to use on Shabbat, this will be a book we will add to our own personal Jewish library, alongside our other essential books for Jewish homes, such as the Humash (Torah and Haftorah readings) and Tanakh. The mahzor is beautifully written, complete, and full of the kind of side-notes and explanations that we’ve come to love and expect at Shir Tikvah.

The process for adopting the mahzor is as follows:

1. Every year during Elul, we do our best to prepare for the Days of Awe, with special rituals and a book I recommend for us all to read together. This year our Elul study book will also be the mahzor we’ll use for prayer during the Holy Days. You won’t need to borrow one to take home for spiritual preparation on your own; you’ll bring your own to shul and take it home again. This mahzor includes sections for home use before and during the Ten Days between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, including meditations and the prayers for lighting a Yizkor candle at home.

2. We’ll buy them in bulk at the Shir Tikvah office, since we qualify for a lower, religious non-profit price that way, and saving you shipping as well.  We are asking members to pay $20 for their own copies of the mahzor. Shir Tikvah will provide books available for guests at services. An order form is available here.ORDER FORM-Mahzor 2012

3. The mahzor includes translations of all Hebrew, and comes with transliterations of the texts which are most commonly read aloud by the entire congregation. The Tefilah committee and I have looked carefully for places where we want additional transliteration, and those transliterations will be available with every mahzor purchased for you to insert and use at your discretion.

Having one’s own mahzor can be a significant support toward not only learning more about the Days of Awe, but also having a deeper, more meaningful experience that does not begin and end at the door of the shul.

We are a learning community in every aspect of our spiritual growth at Shir Tikvah; we are excited to take the next steps in that growth together with the help of our new mahzor.

Rabbi Ariel and the Tefilah Committee, Jen Coury, chair

NOTE: Here are the transliterations for Rosh HaShanah services: transliteration pdf