The New Shul

Parshat Noah/Shabbat Rosh Hodesh

Why was Noah, of all people, chosen to save humanity and nature from being wiped out by the flood? The Torah does not explain, but Rabbi Simhah Zissel of Kelem found a hint in Noah’s name. “Noah” comes from the Hebrew root that means to “rest.” What was special about Noah, according to Rabbi Simhah Zissel, was that, in a frenetic, chaotic world, Noah alone knew how to stop and rest.

We think of Shabbat, our day of rest, as being for our own benefit, a day to renew our spirits. But as Rabbi Simhah Zissel reminds us, Shabbat rest also has a moral dimension. The frantic pace of life tends to distort our values. It throws off our perspective, making it hard to remember what is really important. When that happens, we are of little use to the people around us.

So, when we step back from the frenzy once a week, we do it not only for our own sake, but for the sake of those we care about, and the society in which we live. It is our ability to slow down and regain our balance once a week, as Noah did, that makes it possible for us too — even if only in a small way — to play a role in the redemption of God’s world.

  • Shabbat Services at The New Shul are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm, and Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. Our Shabbat morning service is followed by a kiddush-lunch, open to all. The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat is sponsored by Linda and Jay Samuels in memory of Linda’s father Sol Levee, and by Dale and Alan Singer.
  • Childcare on Shabbat mornings is available from 10 am to noon.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on November 7, after the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult, and $9 per child under 18 (no charge for children under 5). Please send in your payment by Friday October 31 to make your reservation. If you wish to pay online, you can do so here.