The New Shul

Parshat B’shalah/Tu B’Shvat

In this week’s parashah, B’shalahthe children of Israel flee from Egypt, only to be pursued by Pharoah, who catches up with them at the Sea of Reeds. Only after Moshe calls out to God for help are the Egyptians finally defeated.

The Ba’al Shem Tov understood the story to mean that we cannot escape our problems by running away from them. When we flee from our deepest challenges, those challenges just follow us, because they are part of us. The only way to escape the most stubborn Pharoahs in our lives — the ones that live within us — is by drawing on sources of strength and wisdom greater than our own.

Shabbat can help with that. When we enter Shabbat, we are not fleeing from our weekday challenges, imagining that they will no longer be there when Shabbat is over. Instead we use the day to nourish and strengthen ourselves, to grow in insight and wisdom, so that we can more productively confront those challenges when we return to our weekday lives.

On this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, may we draw strength from God and from each other, so that we can defeat the Pharoahs that we carry within us.

  • 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 Ruth Silon and by Linda Samuels.
  • 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.
  • Join us this Sunday morning 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 Shabbat morning, February 2, The New Shul will celebrate the upcoming wedding of Jamie Fialkin and Stephanie Graber.
  • The next meeting of The New Shul Book Group is on Wednesday February 6 at 7:30 pm. The book is Enemies of The People: My Family’s Journey to America, by Kati Marton.
  • 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.
  • On Shabbat morning, February 16, The New Shul will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Julien Polster, and the marriage of Ruth Storch and Ira Joseph. The kiddush is sponsored by the Polster and Storch families.