The New Shul

Parshat Va’eira/Rosh Hodesh Sh’vat

In this week’s parashah, Va’eira, Moshe complains to God:“See, the children of Israel do not listen to me, and I am uncircumcised of lips.” On the surface, the word“and” seems to have the sense of “because.” Moshe seems to be complaining that people are not listening to him because of his speech impediment.

But according to the S’fat Emet, Moshe actually means the opposite. The word “and” should be understood in the sense of “therefore.” Moshe’s real complaint is that people are not listening to him and therefore his speech is impeded.

The point, according to the S’fat Emet, is that true speech requires a true listener to draw it out. Words that come from deep inside the heart — the kind of words that make a real difference in the world — emerge only in response to an open heart on the other side of the conversation.

Part of what it means to be members of a spiritual community is to draw out that kind of speech in others, to listen with our whole selves so that others can speak with their whole selves. By helping others to give voice to the image of God within themselves, we bring the world a little closer to redemption.

  • 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 Norman and Hana Kahn.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Children’s services this Shabbat are: Munchkin Minyan for preschoolers and their parents from 11 to 11:30 am, Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:30 to 11:00 am, and Beyond Bim Bom II for 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 on Shabbat afternoon January 19 after kiddush.
  • On Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 21, 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.
  • Join us on Sunday January 27 at 10:30 am for the 11th annual meeting of The New Shul community. All are welcome.
  • On Sunday evening February 10 at 7:30 pm, The New Shul will host a public lecture by Rabbi Arthur Green: Spiritual Insights from the Hasidic Tradition: A Scholar Reflects. The lecture is free and open to all.