The New Shul

Parshat B’midbar

Parshat B’midbar (“In the desert”) is usually read — as it is this year — on the Shabbat before Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. The ancient rabbis taught that, just as our ancestors had to venture into the desert before they could receive the Torah, the same is true for us. We must make ourselves hefker (ownerless) like the desert in order to be truly open to hearing God’s voice. In other words, we must break free of the false priorities that “own” us, that monopolize our attention, in order to remember where our obligations really lie.

In a sense, every Shabbat is Shabbat B’midbar, a time of breaking free of false obligations, of making ourselves ownerless so that we can hear a deeper call. May this Shabbat of being in the desert serve as an example of what every Shabbat is for:  to free us from our false masters so that we can remember the One whom we are truly called to serve.

  • 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 Myrna Weinstein and Larry Goldstein, and by Edith Cox and Brian Nickel.
  • 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.
  • Shavuot begins this 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.