The New Shul

Nitzavim-Vayeilekh/Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah before the sounding of the shofar, we sing the words from Psalm 118: “Min ha-meitzar karati yah, anani va-merhav yah — From the narrow place I called to God, who answered me with expansiveness.” Rabbi Binyamin of Zalocze noted that our breath within the shofar follows the same path. It begins at the narrow end of the shofar, a place of tightness and constriction, and emerges at the wide end, a place of openness and expansiveness.

Much of the time, we live our lives with a constricted sense of what is possible. We move within the narrow limits set by choices that we made long ago, or by circumstances that we never chose at all. Real change, teshuvah, begins with the realization that we have more freedom than we thought, that we need not remain trapped by the status quo. In the act of teshuvah, we move from narrowness to expansiveness, like our breath within the shofar. Also like that breath, teshuvah gives voice to our deepest longings and aspirations. In seizing our freedom, we unlock our hearts. We find our truest self-expression.

May this season of teshuvah help us all to find our freedom.

  • 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 Irene Magerman.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Join us for S’lihot this Saturday night August 31. We will start at 8:30 pm with havdalah and singing, followed by a screening and discussion of the film “Footnote” by Yosef Cedar. The S’lihotservice will begin at about 11:30 pm.
  • On Monday September 2, Labor Day, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson St. dining room. Please let us know if you are available to help.
  • Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday evening September 4. Our service for Erev Rosh Hashanah is at 6 pm. Services for the first and second days, Thursday and Friday Sept. 5 and 6, are from 8:15 am to 1 pm. Services on both days are followed by a kiddush-lunch, open to all. You can find complete information on our High Holiday services here.
  • To learn about classes offered by Rabbi Kanter through the Women’s Jewish Learning Center, please visit the WJLC website here.