The New Shul

Nitzavim-Vayeilekh/Rosh Hashanah

Parshat Nitzavim, the first of this week’s two parshiyot, is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. In the parashah, Moshe addresses the entire community of Israel, and emphasizes the importance of every individual being present. “You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your tribal heads, your elders. . . even the stranger in your camp, from wood choppers to water drawers.”  We envision a huge crowd, but one in which each individual, far from being lost, is unique and irreplacable.

On the Days of Awe, the public and the personal are deeply intertwined. We feel a deep need to take our place among the crowd, and also a deep need to work on our most private challenges. Those two needs reinforce each other. We are drawn by our individual struggles to stand with the community, and standing with the community gives us the courage and the strength to work on our inner struggles.

According to the ancient rabbis, when we see a great crowd of people, we should say the brakhah: “Barukh hakham harazim – Blessed are You who knows our secrets.” May our togetherness on the Days of Awe give us the strength to look at our own secrets, to be deeply honest with ourselves.

  • 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 20, is sponsored by Jeramiah and Sondra Giehl in celebration of their joining the Jewish people this past week.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • Join us as we gather for S’lihot, with singing, prayer, and story-telling this Saturday night September 20 at 10 pm.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • This 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.
  • 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.
  • Please note that there will be no e-bulletin next week because of Rosh Hashanah. The next bulletin will be sent on Thursday October 2.