The New Shul

Weekly D'var Torah

This week’s parashah, Sh’mini, tells the story of Aaron and his sons’ first day of service as priests. The parashah begins: “On the eighth day [of the priests’ ordination], Moshe called to Aaron and the elders of Israel.”  Why were the elders included in Moshe’s call to Aaron, though they were not  involved in the priestly service? Rabbi Akiva explained: “Just as a bird cannot fly without wings, the people of Israel cannot exist without its elders.” The elders had to be included because, without them, the community could not “take off” on this new spiritual venture.

We know that children are our wings. Children energize us by connecting us to the future, and in that way help us to fly. Rabbi Akiva reminds us that our elders too are our wings. By connecting us to the past, by bringing us wisdom and perspective, they lighten our burdens and help us to fly as well.

Spiritual communities thrive by drawing energy and strength from all generations. May the awareness of how deeply we depend on one another always raise us higher.

  • 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. The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, April 14, is sponsored by Nina Targovnik and by Diane Targovnik and John Jacobs.
  • 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, Wednesday mornings at 7 am, and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on April 20, after the 6 pm Kabbalat Shabbat service. The cost is $18 per adult, and $9 per child under 13 (no charge for children under 5). Please send in your payment by Sunday April 15 to make your reservation (if you wish to pay on-line, you can do so here).