The New Shul

Vayak’hel-P’kudei/Shabbat Ha-Hodesh

In the special parashah for Shabbat Ha-Hodesh, the Shabbat before Rosh Hodesh Nissan, God teaches Moshe and Aaron that “this month” (of Nissan),  in which the children of Israel will be freed from Egypt, “will be for you the beginning of months.”

Rabbi Yitzhak Meir of Ger pointed out that, if we look only at nature, there is no reason to consider any month the beginning of months. Natural time is cyclical. The seasons repeat, and there is no time of year that can claim to be first.  We find newness only when we rise above nature through acts of mitzvah, of sacred commitment. Only by transcending the world as it is and working to redeem the world through sacred deeds do we make the world and ourselves new.

So why is Nissan “the beginning of months?” Because it is the month in which we first became a community of mitzvah in the act of leaving Egypt. We made a choice to become free, to dedicate ourselves to a purpose higher than serving Pharoah. That choice represented a new beginning.

In the life of mitzvah that we build together now, may we constantly renew ourselves as well.

  • 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 Michael and Jennie Kronenfeld.
  • 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, and Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 1 from 10:15 to 11:00 am. Parashah study for teens is from 10:15 to 11:15 am.
  • Rabbi Wasserman’s class on Jewish prayer, Finding Our Way, continues this Shabbat afternoon, March 9, after kiddush.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • In Every Generation, a pre-Pesah workshop for adults led by Rabbi Wasserman, is on Thursday evening March 14 at 7:30 pm.
  • Pesah begins on Monday evening March 25. Services for the first two days of Pesah are on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27 beginning at 9 am. Services for the last days of Pesah are on Monday and Tuesday April 1 and 2 beginning at 9 am.