The New Shul

Weekly D'var Torah

In this week’s parashah, B’reisheet, God asks two questions of humanity. After Adam and Eve have eaten from the tree of knowledge, God asks Adam “Ayekah — Where are you?”  Later, after Cain has killed his brother Abel, God asks Cain “Ay Hevel akhikhah — Where is Abel your brother?”

Those are the two essential questions that we struggled with during the Days of Awe:  Where do stand in relation to God, and where do we stand in relation to the people around us? Perhaps the Torah presents us with those questions here, at the very beginning of its narrative, to remind us that they are the essence of God’s call to us throughout the year. The deepest mitzvah, which underlies all other mitzvot, is to understand that we are accountable. All else flows from that.

Every Shabbat, we try to quiet the noise in our lives so that we can hear the still-small voice of Sinai whispering those questions:  Where are you? and Where are your brothers and sisters?

  • 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, October 6, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Sammy Brodsky, son of Jon and Randi Brodsky. The kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by the Brodsky family.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • On Sunday evening October 14 at 7 pm, The New Shul will host a panel discussion on the theory and practice of Shabbat. The event is co-sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Institute, and is free and open to all.
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at shul on October 19, following 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 Monday October 15.