The New Shul

Weekly D'var Torah

This week’s parashah, Re’eh, begins with the words “See, I place before you today a blessing and a curse.”  The S’fat Emet taught that those words apply to every moment of our lives. No matter where we are in our life’s journey, we are always standing at a crossroads, with a choice of paths before us. Life consists of one decision after another.

In most cases, those decisions are small, with only a handbreadth’s difference between one path and the other. But the choices that we make accumulate over the years, until we find ourselves miles away from where we would have been if we had taken other turns along the way.

This Shabbat is Rosh Hodesh Elul. It marks the beginning of the season of teshuvah or turning, which culminates in the Days of Awe. Elul is a time for getting our lives back on course. But it is a challenge that can seem impossible to meet. Often, the distance between where we are and where we feel God meant for us to be seems so wide that we can never make our way back. So we are liable to give up and ignore the call to change.

But the S’fat Emet reminds us that we change our lives, not all at once, but one  decision at a time. At every crossroads, every moment of choice, we can substitute a blessing for a curse. And every time we do so, we come a little closer to being the person that God intended for us to be.  Little by little, we went off course, and little by little, we return.

May the season of teshuvah be a time of blessing for all of us.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat services are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. This Shabbat morning, August 11, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Carrie and Morrie Aaron.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, Monday evenings at 7 pm, and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on August 17, after the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult, and $9 per child under 13 (no charge for children under 5). Please make your reservation by sending in your payment by August 12. If you wish to pay on-line, you can do so here.
  • For more information on The New Shul, including a full schedule of classes and events, please visit our website, thenewshul.org. Complete information on The New Shul’s services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is available here.

We wish you all a sweet and restful Shabbat.