The New Shul

Parshat Re’eh

This week’s parashah, Re’eh, begins with the words “See, I place before you today a blessing and a curse.”  The S’fat Emet taught that those words apply to every moment of our lives. No matter where we are, we are always standing at a crossroads, with a choice of paths before us. Life consists of one decision after another.

In most cases, those decisions are small , with only a handbreadth of difference between one path and the other. But the choices that we make accumulate over the years, until we find ourselves miles away from where we would have been if we had taken other turns along the way.

This Shabbat, we announce the coming of the new month of Elul, the month of teshuvah that prepares us for the Days of Awe. Elul is a time for getting our lives back on course. But it is a challenge that  can seem impossible to meet. The distance between where we are and where we feel God meant for us to be seems so wide that we can never make our way back. Often, in despair, we just give up and ignore the call to change.

That is where the S’fat Emet comes in. He reminds us that we change our lives, not all at once, but one  decision at a time. At every crossroads, every moment of choice, we can substitute a blessing for a curse. And every time we do so, we come a little closer to being the person that God intended for us to be.  Little by little, we went off course, and little by little, we return.

May the season of teshuvah be a time of blessing for all of us.

  • 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, August 23, is sponsored by Charlotte and Norwin Landay in honor of their 52nd wedding anniversary.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • Our guest teacher this weekend is Rabbi David Jaffe, the founder of the Kirva Institute in Boston, and a noted teacher of Mussar (ethical/spiritual development). Rabbi Jaffe will teach during shul on Shabbat morning, after kiddush on Shabbat afternoon, and on Sunday morning at 10:15 am. All are welcome to join us as we learn from him.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • 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. Contact usto arrange a drop-off time.
  • On Labor Day, Monday September 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 are available to help.