The New Shul

Parshat B’midbar/Shavuot

According to the S’fat Emet, this Shabbat — the Shabbat before Shavuot — reminds us that there could be no Shavuot without Shabbat before it. Shabbat was a pre-requisite for the original revelation at Mount Sinai, and  is a pre-requisite for revelation in our own lives.

According to the Torah, Shabbat was one of the few mitzvot that God had taught us even before we reached Mount Sinai. By the time we heard the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day. . . “, we were already observing it.

Why did we need to have Shabbat in place before we reached the mountain? Because, in order to receive the Torah, we first had to learn to be quiet, to turn our attention beyond the inner turmoil that takes up so much of our energy. If not for Shabbat, the noise inside our heads would have drowned out God’s voice

All the more so today, when God’s voice is deeper even than a whisper, deeper than language itself. The only way that we can hope to hear the still-small voice of Sinai is by quieting the noise inside ourselves. May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, open our hearts to God’s call.

  • 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 Josh Rush in honor of Samantha Rush (who is home on leave from the Israel Defense Force).
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Children’s services this Shabbat are: Munchkin Minyan for pre-schoolers and their parents 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.
  • Sunday morning minyan is at 9:30 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.