The New Shul

Parshat Vay’hi

This week’s parashah, Vay’hi, begins with Yaakov’s blessing to his grandsons, Menashe and Efrayim. Yaakov’s blessing is the model for the weekly blessing that we give to our children at the Shabbat table. The Torah tells us that Yaakov “blessed them that very day.”

Rabbi Asher of Stolin asked why the Torah added those seemingly unnecessary words, “that very day”? He answered that the purpose of those words is not to teach us about the timing of Yaakov’s blessing but about its content. Yaakov blessed his grandsons with the blessing of“that very day-ness,” of being truly present in the moment.

We spend so much of our energy dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future. But it is only in the present, in the moment where we are, that life truly takes place. It is there that we have the ability to meet each other, and to encounter God. The greatest blessing of all is the ability to be fully in the moment.

That is why Shabbat is the holiest of days. Freed from the pressures of the work week, we can be present with our family, our community, and God, in a way that we cannot during the other six days. In the sacred time that we create together on Shabbat, may we all be heirs to Yaakov’s blessing.

  • 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 14, is sponsored by Cathy and Randy Cooper and by Pam Kaplan. The cakes are provided by Alice and Howard Fierstein in celebration of Alice’s birthday.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings. Beyond Bim Bom for grades 2 to 5 meets this Shabbat from 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and on Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • 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, and again on Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 20, 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.