The New Shul

Parshat Vayigash

This week’s parashah, Vayigash, begins with Yehudah’s heartfelt appeal to the man who will soon reveal himself to be Yehudah’s brother Yosef. The power and sincerity of Yehudah’s words are what will finally move Yosef to reveal himself.

The parashah opens with the words, “Vayigash elav Yehudah vayomer [Yehudah confronted him and said].” Rabbi David of Kotzk understood the word “elav[him]” to refer not to Yosef but to Yehudah himself. Before speaking to Yosef, Yehudah confronted himself. He looked deeply into his own heart. That soul-searching is what gave Yehudah’s words such depth and sincerity that they were able to open Yosef’s heart as well.

The words that matter most in our lives — whether words of prayer, words of Torah, or words of love and concern for another person — are always like that. Their power comes from their authenticity. As the rabbis taught, “words that come from the heart enter the heart.” May we find many such words in our lives.

  • 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, December 7, is sponsored by Valerie and Adam Brodsky.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings. Munchkin Minyan for ages 2 to 5 will meet this Shabbat from 11 to 11:30 am.
  • The New Shul Coffee House is this Saturday night December 7 at 7:30 pm. Join us for live music and other entertainment by our own local talent. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • The New Shul will host an Israeli dance workshop, led by Ora Kurland, on Wednesday December 11 at 7 pm. It is free and open to all.
  • On Shabbat morning December 28, The New Shul community will celebrate the (2nd) bar mtizvah of Arnie Silverman, as he turns 83 years old.
  • On New Year’s Day, Wednesday January 1, 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 can help.