The New Shul

Parshat Vayikra/Shabbat Hahodesh

In the special parashah for this Shabbat, Hahodesh, we read about the first mitzvah that we received as we were preparing to leave Egypt. On the night before the Exodus, God commanded us to measure time each year beginning with the month  of our liberation, the month of Nisan. “This month [literally “this new moon”] will be for you the beginning of months.”

We also learn from that passage that Jewish time in general is lunar time. The month of Nisan, like every Jewish month, begins with the new moon.

The Sfat Emet asked why the Torah teaches us to measure time by the moon, rather than by the sun as the larger world does. He explained that what the Torah really means to teach us is that we — like the moon — have the power to bring light into the world even during times of darkness, when there is no sun. We have a source of light — the Torah itself– which helps us to find our way even when the world is at its most confusing and chaotic. The work of Jewish learning, of making Torah our own, is about making that deeper light burn more brightly in our lives.

  • 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, March 21, is sponsored byJerry and Rita Buckman in honor of their 58th wedding anniversary.
  • Our guest teacher this Shabbat, March 21, is Rabbi Arthur Green, a leading scholar of Jewish mystical thought and spirituality. Rabbi Green will give the drashah on Shabbat morning. After lunch, Rabbi Green will teach Hasidic texts on Tikkun Middot (ethical/spiritual development).
  • Childcare on Shabbat mornings is available from 10 am to noon. This Shabbat, March 21, childcare will be extended to 2 pm for those who wish to stay to learn from Rabbi Green. Our learning services for pre-K through grade 2 is from 11 to 11:45 this Shabbat.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, Monday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday mornings at 7 am, and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.