The New Shul

Parshat Bo

This week’s parashah, Bo, tells the story of the final plagues in Egypt, including the plague of darkness. According to the Torah, the darkness was so extreme that “a person could not see his brother. . . and no one could get up from where he was.”

Rabbi Yitzhak Meir of Ger interpreted the darkness spiritually and ethically. He taught that the world is at its darkest when we fail to empathize with those around us, when we are trapped inside ourselves. At those times, when a person cannot see his brother, no one can get up from where he is. That is, we lose the ability to learn and grow as human beings.

Rabbi Yitzhak Meir’s point is that developing our inner life is not a solitary activity. We grow internally — we get up from where we are — by recognizing the image of God in those around us. We find our individual purpose and identity in our commitment to others. May the community of mitzvah that we build together help us all, as individuals, to get up from where we are.

  • 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 Ivan Brodsky, and by Valerie and Adam Brodsky.
  • 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 and Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:30 to 11:00 am. Parashah study for teens is from 10:15 to 11:15 am.
  • Finding Our Way, Rabbi Wasserman’s class on Jewish prayer, continues this Shabbat afternoon January 19 after kiddush.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • 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 Monday January 28 at 7 pm, The New Shul will host a lecture by Maggie Anton, who will talk about her new book, Rav Hisda’s Daughter. The lecture is sponsored by the Women’s Jewish Learning Center, and is free and open to all.
  • 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.