The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tetzei

This week’s parashah, Ki Tetzei, teaches that, if your neighbor’s ox or donkey has collapsed under its load, you are required to help your neighbor raise the animal up.“You shall surely raise it with him.” Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk read the verse with an emphasis on the word “with.” We are not required to do the work for our neighbor, but in partnership with him.

The Kotzker Rebbe went on to interpret the verse as a parable about teshuvah, our work of inner change, and how God participates in it. If we wish to do teshuvah, to unload the burdens that keep us trapped in the past, then God will help us. God will not — cannot — do it for us, but rather with us. We must make a beginning. Then God will lighten the load.

That first step, the sincere yearning for change, is what everything else depends on. It can come only from us. For the rest of the journey, we will not be alone.

During this season of teshuvah, may we, with God’s help, make our lives new.

  • 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, September 6, is sponsored by Mojdeh and Ben Bobrow.
  • 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 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 us to arrange a drop-off time.
  • On Sunday September 21 at 1:30 pm, The New Shul will host a CPR training workshop, led by Dr. Ben Bobrow. There is no charge, and all are welcome.
  • Rosh Hashanah begins on Wednesday night September 24, and Yom Kippur begins on Friday night October 3. Complete information on The New Shul’s services for the Days of Awe is available here.