The New Shul

Parshat Emor

This week’s parashah, Emor, teaches the mitzvah of counting the omer.  As we make our way from Pesah to Shavuot, we count off each of the 49 days in between.

Often we think of the counting as an expression of anticipation.  We are impatient to receive the Torah, to complete our journey out of Egypt, and so we count off the days until we will reach our destination.

But the S’fat Emet understood the counting differently, not as an expression of impatience but of gratefulness.  We count the days to remind ourselves that, even during difficult, uncomfortable transitions, every day is precious and irreplacable.  During times of in-betweenness in our lives, when we are neither here nor there, it is tempting to wish away the hours and days, to close our eyes and grit our teeth until we get where we are going.  But living fully means being present even in those times of uncertainty.  It means counting those days too as days to be cherished.  Counting the omer, as the S’fat Emet understood it, is about reminding ourselves of that challenge.

The S’fat Emet was also teaching us a lesson about revelation, about how we reach Mount Sinai.  Moments of deep gratitude, when we are truly present in the moment, are in their own way moments of revelation, when we experience God’s presence and sense God’s call.  At those moments, wherever we are standing, we stand at Mount Sinai.

  • 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 The New Shul community.
  • 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 11:00 to 11:30 am, Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:15 to 11:00 am, Beyond Bim Bom II for grades 2 to 3 from 10:15 to 11:00 am, and Tween Tefillah for grades 4 to 6 from 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • Minyanim at The New Shul during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Wednesday mornings at 7:00 am.
  • Shavuot, the festival that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, begins on Saturday night May 26.  Join us for our all-night Tikkun (study vigil) beginning at 9 pm. We will end at dawn on Sunday with morning prayers outdoors. All are welcome for any part of the night.
  • The service for the second day of Shavuot, Monday May 28, will begin at 9 am and will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer.