The New Shul

Parshat Vayera

There are two mountains that played key roles in the story of the Jewish people: Mount Sinai, where God reached down from heaven and gave us the Torah, and Mount Moriah, where — in this week’s parashah — Avraham reached up and offered his son to God.  It was on Mount Moriah that the Beit Hamikdash, God’s Temple, was built.

Rabbi Hayim of Zanz asked why it was Mount Moriah, and not Mount Sinai, that became God’s dwelling place on earth. What place could be more holy than Mount Sinai? Why was the Beit Hamikdash not built there?

Rabbi Hayim’s answer was that, when it comes to building sacred space, our reaching up is more important than God’s reaching down. God’s ability to be present on earth depends much more on what we do than on what God does. It is our willingness to give over our hearts, to acknowledge that all that we have belongs to God, that makes it possible for the infinite to dwell in a finite world.

Together, may we make our shul such a dwelling place.

  • 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-lunch this Shabbat is sponsored by The New Shul community.
  • Childcare on Shabbat mornings is available from 10 am to noon. Our learning services for children resume this Shabbat, November 8. The schedule is: Pre-K,11:15 to 11:45 am. Grades K to 2, 10:30 to 11:15 am. Grades 3 to 5, 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • On the Sunday of Martin Luther King Day Weekend, January 18, The New Shul will host the first day of a two-day Mussar retreat, co-sponsored by the Valley Beit Midrash. On Monday January 19, the retreat will continue at Temple Chai. Further information is available here.