The New Shul

Parshat Vayeishev

In this week’s parashah, Vayeishev, the Torah announces:“This is the lineage of Yaakov . . .” But then, instead of giving us what it seems to promise, a full picture of Yaakov’s geneology, the Torah shifts abruptly to the story of Yaakov’s son Yosef: “Yosef was tending the flocks. . . “

According to Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Riminov, the Torah is not changing the subject. Yaakov’s lineage is summed up in his son Yosef, specifically in the meaning of Yosef’s name.

Yosef comes from the Hebrew root that means “to add” or “increase.” The Torah’s point, according to Rabbi Menahem Mendel, is that all true heirs of Yaakov are Yosef. To be a Jew is to grow and evolve, never to stand still. Yaakov’s legacy, for all of us, is constantly to reach higher.

Hanukah, which begins this Saturday night, teaches the same value. To make the miracle known, to celebrate God’s presence in the world, is to increase the light day by day. That is what it means to be an heir of Yaakov.

  • 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 Karen and Rob Nagle, in honor of the Women’s Jewish Learning Center being recognized by the Slingshot Fund as one of the 50 most innovative Jewish non-profits in North America.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Children’s services this Shabbat are: Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:30 to 11:00 am, and Beyond Bim Bom IIfor grades 2 to 3 from 10:15 to 11:30 am. Parashah study for teens is from 10:15 to 11:15 am.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Finding Our Way, Rabbi Wasserman’s class on Jewish prayer, continues after kiddush on Shabbat afternoon December 15.
  • The New Shul’s annual Hanukah Coffee House is on Saturday night December 15 (the 8th night of Hanukah) at 7:30 pm. Join us for lots of live music and other entertainment by our own local talent. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.
  • On New Years Day, Tuesday January 1, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson St. dining room. Please let us know if you can help.