The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tetzei

This week’s parashah, Ki Tetzei, teaches that, if we find a mother bird sitting on her eggs, we may take the eggs but must let the mother bird go free.  Rabbi Avraham of Sokhchov explained the reason as follows:  The mother bird, at that moment, has a special status almost like that of a human being.  In guarding her eggs even at the risk of her life, she reminds us of a human ideal:  placing another’s needs above our own.  Because the mother bird  is emblematic of the human ideal of compassion, we must honor her as we would honor a person.

Philosophers and scientists have offered many suggestions about what defines our humanness:  the ability to reason abstractly, to use language, to make complicated tools.  Rabbi Avraham of Sokhchov answered that question very differently.   What makes us truly human, he taught, is compassion, the ability to care deeply for another.

All week long, we express our humanness by building and achieving, by asserting mastery over nature.  On Shabbat,  we put aside that work in order to remind ourselves that what makes us human, above all else, is our ability to love.  May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, help us to rediscover what matters most in our lives.

  • 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 Marni and Ariel Anbar in honor of their 18th wedding anniversary and the 18th wedding anniversary of Virginie and Jeremy Polster.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Learning services for children 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.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • On Thursday September 15 at 7:30 pm, join us at The New Shul for a pre-Rosh-Hashanah workshop for adults:  “Gather Your Words:  Preparing For The Days of Awe.”
  • S’lihot is on Saturday night Sept. 24.  Join us at 9 pm for a screening and discussion of the film “Metalic Blues” by Danny Verete (2004) as a text on teshuvah, followed by the S’lihot service.
  • Rosh Hashanah is on Thursday and Friday Sept. 29 and 30.  Please click here for information on our High Holiday services.
  • Here is our Niggun of the Week, to help you prepare for Shabbat.  It is called “Niggun Nevo” by Shlomo Katz.