The New Shul

Yom Kippur

In the parashah for the morning of Yom Kippur, we read about the service of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, in the ancient Temple.  On Yom Kippur, and only on that day, the Kohen Gadol would enter the Holy of Holies, the most sacred place in the Temple.  Before he did so, he would take off the magnificent garments that he normally wore, and change into plain white garments.  Ever since, it has been a tradition for Jews to wear white on Yom Kippur.  It is also a tradition to wear shoes that are not made of leather, because leather shoes represented luxury in the ancient world.

The challenge of facing God on Yom Kippur is a daunting one.  We have so little to show for ourselves, so little credit that we can claim.  What we learn from the Kohen Gadol is that, when we approach God, we do not need to justify ourselves.   It is far better to shed any pretense, to approach God in pure simplicity, as the Kohen Gadol shed his golden robe and wore a simple white one.

During the year our lives grow increasingly complex, and the ways in which we rationalize our lives, our justifications and excuses also grow increasingly complex.  Yom Kippur is a time to strip away all of the complexity, to return to God not with elaborate explanations, but simply with an open heart.  May this Yom Kippur be a time of renewal for all of us.

  • Services for Yom Kippur begin on Friday evening Oct. 7 at 5:30 pm, and on Saturday morning at 8:15 am (we invite you to wear white clothes and non-leather shoes).  Services continue through the day, with a short break in the afternoon.  Childcare is available on Friday evening from 5:30 to 8 pm, and on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.  We will blow the shofar to end the fast at 6:45 pm.  Everyone is invited to a break-fast at the shul immediately afterwards.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Join us on Sunday Oct. 9, beginning at 11 am, as we build The New Shul sukkah.  Bring your children and grandchildren to help make decorations.
  • Services for Sukkot are on Thursday and Friday mornings, Oct. 13 and 14, beginning at 9 am.  Services for Shabbat Hol Ha-moed Sukkot are on Friday Oct 14 at 6 pm, and Saturday Oct. 15 beginning at 9 am.
  • Our service for Sh’mini Atzeret, Thursday Oct 20 begins at 9 am, and will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer.
  • Join us on Erev Simhat Torah, Thursday Oct. 20, for hakafot and dancing beginning at 6:30 pm.  Our service for the morning of Simhat Torah, Friday Oct. 21 (with more hakafot and dancing), begins at 9 am.
  • Services for Shabbat B’reisheet are on Friday Oct. 21 at 6 pm, and Saturday Oct. 22 beginning at 9 am…9 amnm
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on Nov. 4, after the 6 pm services. The cost is $18 per adult and $9 per teen/child under 18.  No charge for children under 5.  Please send in your payment to make your reservation by Tuesday Nov. 1.
  • Please note that there will be no email d’var torah/newsletter for the next two weeks because of the holidays.  The next one will be sent on Oct.27.