The New Shul

Weekly D'var Torah

In this week’s parashah, T’rumah, God explains to Moshe in loving detail how to build the mishkan, God’s dwelling place on earth. The point is that, when it comes to bringing God into the world, the details count.

We know that that is true for us today as well. In constructing our spiritual lives — for example, in setting Shabbat apart from the rest of the week — it all comes down to the details. Broad principles are fine, but specific acts are what really make the difference.

But details count only if they are not the ultimate point. They make all the difference if and only if they express something deeper: an openness of heart. The parashah reminds us of that at the outset. The work of building the mishkan starts with “all whose hearts are willing.” 

The purpose of religious life in all its richness and detail is to express a deeper openness –and more importantly perhaps — to keep our hearts open when they would otherwise tend to close. In that way, the details serve a deeper purpose: to make our hearts God’s dwelling place on earth.

May the sacred structures that we build together always be a source of blessing.

  • 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, February 17, we will celebrate the upcoming marriage of Tracy Leibsohn and Scott Kirkorsky. The kiddush-lunch is sponsored by the Leibsohn and Kirkorsky families.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning service for children is from 11 to 11:45 am.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, Monday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday mornings at 7 am, and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • On Thursday February 22 at 7 pm, The New Shul will host a lecture by Dr. Rachel Tzvia Back: “The Woman’s Voice in Modern Hebrew Poetry.” On Monday February 26 at 7 pm, we will host a lecture by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld: “Mi Yodea: Humility and Hope in an Uncertain World.” Both lectures are co-sponsored by Valley Beit Midrash.
  • Erev Purim is Wednesday evening February 28. Please join us at 7 pm for the reading of the Megillah and our Purim shpiel. The Megillah will be read again on Thursday morning, beginning at 7 am.