The New Shul

Parshat Tazria/Shabbat Hahodesh

Last week’s parashah ended by teaching laws of tum’ah and taharah, priestly purity and impurity, as they pertain to animals. This week’s parashah, Tazria, teaches how those same categories of purity and impurity apply to human beings.The Torat Moshe noted some practical distinctions between how those categories pertain to human beings as opposed to animalsHuman beings can more easily becometam’ei (impure), and their impurity is more easily transferred.

The Torat Moshe took that ritual distinction and derived a moral warning from it:  Just as human beings stand above animals in so many respects, we also have the ability to sink lower. Humans, at our most inhuman, are more cruel and destructive than any animal.

The same qualities that raise us above animals also make us that much more dangerous — to each other and to the larger environment. That is why we, unlike animals, need Torah in the first place: to bring out the best in us and restrain the worst. May the Torah that we learn together help to make us what we have the power to be: the crown of God’s creation.

  • 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, March 29, is sponsored by Israel and Carol Naishtut and by Rabbi Shamai and Jeannette Kanter, in honor of the Naishtuts’ 63rd wedding anniversary, and in honor of Israel Naishtut’s and Rabbi Kanter’s 84th birthdays.
  • 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.
  • On Shabbat morning April 5, our guest teacher will be Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz, director of the Valley Beit Midrash.
  • Pesah begins on Monday evening April 14. Services for the first two days of Pesah, Tuesday and Wednesday April 15 and 16, and for the last two days, Monday and Tuesday April 21 and 22,begin at 9 am. The service on the last day includes Yizkor, the memorial prayer.
  • The New Shul is collecting food donations for “Just Three Things,” to help young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. Please bring packaged items that are either ready-to-eat or require only microwave preparation. To arrange a drop-off, call or email the shul.