The New Shul

Parshat Sh’mini

This week’s parashah, Sh’mini, teaches: “Al t’shaktsu et nafshoteikhem – Do not degrade yourselves by contact with abominable things.” The immediate context is a ritual one. The Torah is warning the priests not to let themselves become ritually impure. But taken more broadly, this is a good piece of ethical advice as well. Maintaining our integrity means steering clear of morally compromising situations, keeping our distance from  unkind and insensitive people, morally repugnant ideas, harmful speech.

It is not that we should run away from the evils of the world. To the contrary, we need to combat them. But in order to fight back against those things, we need to keep ourselves from getting too accustomed to them, too comfortable with them. Human beings can get used to almost anything. So we should take care to make our home with people who challenge us to be better.

May our community always be a place that nourishes the best in us.

  • 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, April 18, is sponsored by Pam Leeds-Ragborg and Jim Ragborg in memory of Pam’s mother Rya Leeds.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning services for children this Shabbat are: for pre-K to grade 2 from 11 to 11:45 am, and for grades 3 to 5 from 10:15 to 11:30 am.
  • Minyanim at The New Shul during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, Monday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday mornings at 7:00 am, and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • Shavuot begins on Saturday night May 23. Join us at The New Shul for our Tikkun Leil Shavuot (all-night study and discussion) beginning at 9 pm. We will end with morning prayers at sunrise. The theme this year is: “Romance and Revelation: Interpreting the Book of Ruth.” The Tikkun is co-sponsored by Valley Beit Midrash and by Temple Chai.