The New Shul

Parshat Aharei Mot/Shabbat Hagadol

This year Shabbat Hagadol, the Shabbat before Pesah, happens to coincide with the reading of parshat Aharei Mot, which teaches about Yom Kippur.

Reading about Yom Kippur immediately before Pesahreminds us of the parallels between the two holidays, half a year apart. On the surface they are opposites — one is a fast and the other is a feast. But our feasting on Pesah has a hint of fasting in it, in that we deny ourselves the foods that we are most used to. Some seder leaders have the custom of wearing the kittel, the same white garment that is worn on Yom Kippur, at the seder table.

The point is that both holidays are times of cleansing and renewal, when we try to free ourselves from those things in our past that have enslaved us. Pesah, like Yom Kippur, challenges us to change and grow, to make a fresh start.

May this Pesah be a time of rebirth for us. By searching ourselves and daring to change, may we become free.

  • 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, April 12, is sponsored by Stacy and John Andrews  in honor of Lee and Patsy Bakunin, and co-sponsored by Larisa Sulinova in honor of the naming of her daughter. The cakes are sponsored by Lee and Patsy Bakunin, in honor of Stacy Andrews.
  • 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.
  • Sunday morning minyan is at 9:30 am.
  • 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 kiddushes on all four days of Yom Tov, plus the Shabbat of Pesah, April 19, are sponsored by Lee and Patsy Bakunin.
  • 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. The final pick-up is on Sunday April 13.
  • Please note that there will be no e-bulletin next Thursday, April 17. The bulletin will resume on April 24.