The New Shul

Aharei Mot/K’doshim

In the second of this week’s two parshiyot, K’doshim, the Torah teaches us the mitzvah of reproof. “Hokheiahtokhiah — Reprove, reprove your neighbor, and do not bear sin on his/her account.”  Instead  of nursing our anger at someone who has hurt us, we should confront that person so that we can clear the air.

The Talmudic rabbis taught that this is one of the most difficult mitzvot to do properly. Very often, when we confront those who have hurt us, we make the problem worse instead of better. The Baal Shem Tov explained that, in those cases, it is usually because we have failed to confront ourselves first. That is why the word “reprove” is doubled: to teach us that we must first reprove ourselves — we must own up to our share of responsibility for the conflict — before we confront the other. Once we have accepted our share of the blame, we have a better chance of getting the other party to do the same.

By doubling our reproof, may we make our words a source of healing, which mend relationships and strengthen community.

  • 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. This Shabbat morning, April 20, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Morgana Yellen, daughter of Cheryl Yellen. The kiddush is sponsored by Cheryl.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Beyond Bim Bom I, for grades K to 3, is from 10:15 to 11:15 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.
  • Shavuot begins on Tuesday evening May 14. Join us for our Tikkun Leil Shavuot — our all-night vigil of learning and discussion — beginning at 9 pm. Morning prayers for the first day of Shavuot, Wednesday May 15, will be outdoors at 5 am. The service for the second day of Shavuot, Thursday May 16, will begin at  9 am and will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer.

This Shabbat our prayers will be with the survivors and the families of the victims of the bombing in Boston and of the explosion in Texas. We wish them healing of body and of spirit.