The New Shul

Parshat D’varim/Shabbat Hazon

This week’s parashah, D’varim, begins:  “These are the words that Moses taught to the whole community of Israel. . . “ As his death approaches, Moses begins to teach the Torah one last time to a new generation, in a deeply personal and passionate voice.  The Moses that we hear now, in his old age, is a stark contrast with the young Moses who had complained to God that he was “not a man of words” and feared that he could not make himself understood.  Between then and now, how did Moses find his voice?

The Sfat Emet explains that, in his youth, Moses had been unable to express himself because he had not yet received the Torah.  It was the Torah that unlocked Moses’s voice, and enabled him to express what was inside him.

It is the same with us.  We all have insights that might be called religious, even if we don’t think of ourselves as religious people.  We all have moments of perspective when we see beyond ourselves and sense that life has deeper meaning.   But our every-day vocabulary gives us no way to put those insights into words, and so they often remain unexpressed, even to ourselves.  Torah is a language that enables us to give voice to those insights.  The purpose of the Torah’s words is to unlock our hearts.  And when it does, then our words become words of Torah too.

May the Torah that we study help us — like Moses –to discover the still-deeper Torah within ourselves.

  • 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. The kiddush this Shabbat is sponsored by Davi Weinberg, Connie Wolf, and Harriet and Gil Rosen.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Tisha B’Av, the day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, begins next Monday evening, August 8.  Join us for the reading of Eikhah (Lamentations), and study and discussion, beginning at 8:15 pm.
  • On Sunday August 14, from noon to 3 pm, The New Shul community will take part in the Jewish Community Fair at the JCC.  We will use our table to sign up stem-cell donors for the “Be The Match” Foundation.   If you can help with this mitzvah, please let us know.