In this week’s parshiyot, Vayak’hel and P’kudei, the community of Israel carries out God’s instructions for building the mishkan, God’s portable home on earth. Moshe begins by calling on everyone with a willing heart to contribute materials for the project. “Take from yourselves an offering. . . as gifts for God.”
The author of Netivot Shalom noted that Moshe could have said simply, “Take an offering,” but that he added “from yourselves.” Those extra words remind us that the most important part of any gift, of any contribution that we make to the world around us, is the part of ourselves that goes with it. The Talmud teaches that “God wants the heart.” It is when we give of ourselves that we feel most deeply that our lives have meaning and purpose.
When it comes to building a spiritual community, the most important gift that we can give is ourselves — our openness to searching and growing together in prayer, in learning, and in caring for each other. May we all find joy in giving of ourselves to build our community.
- Shabbat services at The New Shul are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. This Shabbat morning, March 17, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Anita Gutkin, on the occasion of her 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of her marriage to Jerome. The kiddush is sponsored by the Gutkins.
- Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Children’s services this Shabbat are: Munchkin Minyan for ages 2 to 4 from 11:00 to 11:30 am, Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:15 to 11:00 am, and Beyond Bim Bom II for grades 2 to 3 from 10:15 to 11:00 am.
- Minyanim at The New Shul during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7:00 am.
- Join us for an adult workshop, In Every Generation: Preparing for Pesah, on Monday March 26 at 7:30 pm