The New Shul

Parshat Vayera

This week’s parashah, Vayera, tells the story of the destruction of S’dom, where Lot, Avraham’s nephew lives.   The people of S’dom demonstrate that they deserve that fate when they try to break down the door of Lot’s house to attack his guests.  Lot’s guests, who are actually messengers of God, strike the attackers blind so that they cannot find the door.

A few moments later, Lot appeals to his sons-in-law to follow him out of the city in order to save themselves and their famlies.  They laugh at him because they do not believe that S’dom will be destroyed.

The Shem Mi-Sh’muel  notes that Lot’s sons-in-law are also, in their own way, blind.  Even after they have witnessed the miracle that saved Lot’s family, they cannot draw the obvious conclusion.  Their lack of imagination leaves them trapped.

Often, we are like Lot’s sons-in-law.  We fail to recognize the miracles that are right in front of us, the miracles of life, and love, and beauty.  Our weekday routine deadens our sense of wonder.  As a result, we are trapped in the narrowness of our daily grind.   That is where Shabbat comes in.  By setting aside time once a week to appreciate the wonders that are with us all the time, to recognize that “the whole world is full of God’s glory,” we liberate our vision, and 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 Shirley and Brian Brener, in honor of Brian’s recovery.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings.  Children’s services this Shabbat are:  Munchkin Minyan for ages 2 to 4 from 11 to 11:30 am, Beyond Bim Bom for grades K to 3 from 10:30 to 11:15 am, and Tween Tefillah for grades 4 to 6 from 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • Join us after kiddush this Shabbat, at 12:30 pm, for a shiur (study session) led by Rabbi Wasserman on rabbinic views of Avraham. The shiur is part of The New Shul’s Havruta program.  All are welcome, and childcare will be provided.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am. \
  • On Shabbat morning, November 19, we will celebrate the bat mtizvah of Bailey Kaufman, daughter of Howard and Michelle Kaufman.
  • Here is our Niggun of the Week, to help you get ready for Shabbat — Shabbos Kodesh performed by Shlomo Katz