The New Shul

Parshat Emor

This week’s parashah, Emor, explains the restrictions under which the kohanim, the priests, had to live in order to avoid becoming ritually impure. Their range was limited in accordance with their sanctity. At the top of the priestly hierarchy, the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest lived the most restricted life of all, so that his purity would not be compromised.

The S’fat Emet contrasted the fragile sanctity of the kohanim with the tough sanctity of Torah. Unlike the priests, who were easily contaminated by their surroundings, words of Torah can never become impure. No matter where we take them, they enhance the holiness of their surroundings and never lose their own.

Often we underestimate the power of Torah. We treat Torah as something fragile, whose words thrive only in  a protected space such as the synagogue. We compartmentalize religious life, for fear that it cannot stand up to the real world outside.

But true Torah brings light even to the darkest corners of our lives. It helps to make the impure pure. May the Torah that we cultivate in our shul be the true kind, which can never be contaminated by the world that it confronts outside.

  • 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 The New Shul community.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Children’s services this Shabbat are: Munchkin Minyan for ages 2 to 4 from 11 to 11:30 am, Beyond Bim Bom I for grades K to 3 from 10:15 to 11:15 am, and Beyond Bim Bom II for grades 4 to 6 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.
  • Celebrate Lag B’Omer and the State of Israel with the Greater Phoenix Jewish community this Sunday, April 28, from 12:30 to 4 pm at the JCC. The Maccabeats perform at 3 pm. The concert is co-sponsored by a consortium of Jewish organizations including The New Shul.
  • 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.