The New Shul

Parshat Vayeshev

In this week’s parashah, Vayeshev, Yosef sets out to find his brothers who, it turns out, hate Yosef so much that they will sell him into slavery. Along the way, Yosef meets a stranger who asks him what he is looking for. Yosef answers, “et ahai anokhi m’vakesh — I am searching for my brothers” — ironic words, since the people that he is searching for are hardly brothers to him. But Yosef’s words do offer us a glimpse of what could be, of what it might mean for brothers to be truly concerned for one another.

In the story of Hanukah, which begins next Tuesday night, we see what brothers who are truly brothers can accomplish. The Maccabees restored light to a world that had gone dark, and they did it through their solidarity with one another.

What does it meant to be part of a spiritual community? It means to help bring light into the world through the power of mitzvah, above all through our love for one another. We increase God’s presence in the world by honoring the image of God in those around us. May our shul always be such a source of light.

  • 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, December 13, is sponsored by the shul.
  • Childcare on Shabbat mornings is available from 10 am to noon. Our learning service for pre-K through grade 2 is from 11 to 11:45 am.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am and Wednesday mornings at 7 am.
  • This Sunday December 14 at 4 pm, The New Shul will host a lecture by Rabbi Ruth Sohn on her book Crosing Cairo. The lecture is sponsored by the Women’s Jewish Learning Center,
  • The New Shul’s annual Hanukah Coffee House is on Saturday night December 20 at 7:30 pm. Join us for lots of live music and other entertainment by our own local talent. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.
  • On New Year’s Day, Thursday January 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 can help.
  • 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.
  • Registration is now open for LimmudAZ, a community-wide day of Jewish learning on Sunday February 8, from 8:30 am to 5 pm. 45 presenters, from our community and from around the country, will teach on topics from “Jews and Chocolate” to“Shakespeare’s Shylock” to “Jewish Mysticism Made Simple”to “The Bible and Bruce (Springsteen).” Further information is available at