The New Shul

Parshat Bo

In this week’s parashah, Bo, God explains to Moshe that the purpose of the plagues in Egypt is an educational one: “So that you will recount in the ears of your children. . . how I displayed my signs among them. . . and you will know that I am YHWH.” By telling and retelling the story, we will insure that future generations know God.

Rabbi Yehoshua of Belz interpreted the passage differently. He read the first clause as dependent on the second, rather than the other way around. If we want our children to truly hear what we teach them, then we ourselves must first “know that I am YHWH.” We can transmit to our children only what we sincerely believe. The purpose of God’s signs and wonders was to convince the teachers, not the students.

Rabbi Yeshoshua of Belz reminds us that the work of educating the next generation is not primarily about our children but about ourselves. The real task is to clarify where we ourselves stand, what we are prepared to commit to. Only then will our words truly be heard.

May we, as a community of Torah, help each other to grow as Jews, so that our children and our grandchildren will learn from our words, and our deeds.

  • 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 Jeffrey and Francine Buchhalter in memory of Jeff’s mother Irene Buchhalter, and by Rabbi Shamai and Jeannette Kanter in honor of their 55th wedding anniversary.
  • 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, 11 to 11:30 am; Beyond Bim Bom for grades K to 1, 10:15 to 11 am; Beyond Bim Bom II for grades 2 to 3, 10:15 to 11 am; Tween Tefillah for grades 4 to 6, 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • After kiddush this Shabbat, Jan. 21, Ann Polunsky from the Arizona Jewish Historical Society will teach about the early history of the Jews of Arizona. Childcare will be provided.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am. \
  • Join us for two guest lectures at The New Shul:  On Tuesday Jan. 31 at 7:00 pm, Dr. Wendy Zierler of Hebrew Union College: “And Rachel Stole the Idols:  The Emergence of Modern Jewish Women’s Writing.”  On Tuesday Feb. 7 at 7:30 pm, Rabbi Ed Feinstein of Valley Beth Shalom in L.A:  “A Curriculum of Wonder:  The Genius of Abraham Joshua Heschel.” Both lectures are co-sponsored by the Valley Beit Midrash and the Women’s Jewish Learning Center, and are free and open to all.
  • Join us at The New Shul on the afternoon of Shabbat Shirah (The Shabbat of Song), Feb. 4 at 6 pm for Seudah Shlisheet, the third Shabbat meal. Yisroel Juskowicz, a singer/song-writer from New York City, will lead us in song over the meal. After havdalah at 7 pm, he will perform his music. The concert is free and open to all.
  • On Shabbat morning Feb. 11, and on Shabbat afternoon after kiddush, Dr. Joel Gereboff, the Chair of Religious Studies at ASU, will be our guest teacher.
  • Please remember to RSVP for our 10th Anniversary celebration on Sunday Feb. 26 at 6 pm at the Hilton Scottsdale. Rabbi David Wolpe will be the keynote speaker. The cost is $54 per person. You can get further information here.