The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tavo

In this week’s parashah, Ki Tavo, Moshe commands the Jewish people to tithe from their crops to support the poor. Moreover, Moshe commands them (it seems) to take credit for the mitzvah afterwards by declaring to God: “I have removed [the tithed produce] from my home. . . . I have done all that You commanded.”

That declaration seems presumptuous. How can anyone claim to have done all that God has commanded? Don’t we all fall short?

The Mikra M’forash explains that, when a Biblical farmer declared after tithing, “I have done all that You commanded,” he was not boasting. In fact was not talking about himself at all. Instead, he was reminding himself of what Rabbi Akiva taught, that”Love your neighbor as yourself” is the essence of the whole Torah. What the farmer was really declaring is that every act of caring for another person, such as the mitzvah that he had just performed, is all that God commanded.  Each time we honor the image of God in another person, we are fulfilling the entire Torah.

May the life of Torah that we build together always help us to see the holiness in every human being.

  • 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 Barbara Greenberg and Sandra Harris in honor of the marriage of Barbara’s son David Greenberg to Marie Savrides.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Beyond Bim Bom I , our learning service for grades K to 1, is from 10:15 to 11:00 am this Shabbat.
  • Join us for S’lihot this Saturday night September 8. We will begin at 9 pm with a screening and discussion of the film The Human Resources Manager by Eran Riklis (2010) as a text on teshuvah. The S’lihot service follows at about 11:30 pm.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Gather Your Words, a pre-Rosh Hashanah workshop for adults led by Rabbi Wasserman is on Tuesday September 11 at 7:30 pm. All are welcome.
  • Erev Rosh Hashanah is Sunday evening Sept. 16. You can find complete information on The New Shul’s services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur here.