The New Shul

Parshat Ekev

In this week’s parashah, Ekev, Moses boils down the entire Torah to a single teaching. He says “What does God ask of you, except to revere him?” Reverence (yir’ah in Hebrew) is a more basic emotion than what we normally mean by “respect.” It is not about ackowledging who God is, but something more modest: acknowledging that we are not God. It is the recognition of our own smallness in the universe, the awareness that the world does not revolve around us. Reverence is the beginning of all spiritual life, in that it makes room within us for the recognition of the One who is greater than us, even if that One remains a mystery.

Reverence is a particular challenge for us, living in a culture that places the self at the center of everything, that trains us to see ourselves as very large.

Fortunately, we have Shabbat to help us with that. By putting aside our work once a week, by stepping back from our creative power, we remind ourselves that — even if we do not know who made the world — we at least know that it was not us. That, as Moses taught us, is where all spiritual life begins.

  • 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 Alan and Sheila Roth, in honor of Alan’s 70th birthday.
  • Children’s services this Shabbat are: “Munchkin Minyan” for ages 2 to 4 from 11 to 11:30 am, and “Beyond Bim Bom” for grades K to 3 from 10:30 to 11:15 am. Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • On Shabbat morning September 3, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Aaron Jost, son of Alisa and Charles Jost.
  • On Monday September 5, Labor Day, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson St. dining room. Please let us know if you can help.
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on September 9, right after the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult and $9 per teen/child under 18. No charge for children under 5. Please send in your payment by Tuesday September 6 to make your reservation.
  • Here is our “Niggun of the Week” a melody for “Shalom Aleikhem” to help you get ready for Shabbat.
As we prepare for Shabbat, our hearts go out to the victims of the terror attacks in Israel this week. We pray for the survivors, and for the families of the dead. May God bring them comfort.