The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tissa/Shabbat Parah

This week’s parashah, Ki Tissa, tells the story of the golden calf. As the children of Israel worship the calf at the foot of the mountain, God says to Moshe on the mountaintop, “Go down, for your people has sinned.”

On the surface, God seems to be ordering Moshe to go down and fix the problem. But the rabbis of the Talmud interpreted God’s words differently. They understood God to be saying, “Moshe, now that the community below has rejected me, this Torah that we are writing up here has no purpose — so you may as well go down.”

According to the late Rabbi David Hartman, the point that the Talmudic rabbis were making is that individual “Sinai” moments — experiences of spiritual insight and intensity — have meaning only to the extent that they make a difference in the life of a real-world community. Judaism is not about experiencing God alone on mountaintops, but about building communities of living Torah in the world below, where we actually live.

May we find blessing in the work of building spiritual community, of bringing Torah down to earth.

  • 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 Sandra Harris in honor of her 75th birthday.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Children’s services this Shabbat are: Munchkin MInyan for ages 2 to 4 and their parents from 11 to 11:30 am, Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:15 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.
  • The New Shul Book Group meets on Wednesday March 6 at 7:30 pm. The book is The Free World by David Bezmozgis.
  • Rabbi Wasserman’s class on Jewish prayer, Finding Our Way,continues on Shabbat afternoon March 9 after kiddush.
  • In Every Generation, a pre-Pesah workshop for adults led by Rabbi Wasserman, is on Thursday evening March 14 at 7:30 pm.