The New Shul


The second of this week’s two parshiyot, Metzora, teaches about the process by which one who was tamei — ritually impure, alienated from the divine — made the journey back into God’s presence in the days when the Temple stood. That process can serve as a metaphor for our own spiritual searching today.

The author of Meshekh Hokhmah pointed out that the Torah uses an odd gramatical form to refer to the one has has been ritually purified by the priest. Instead of using the normal passive form nit’har (“purified”), it uses a reflexive form, mit’taher, meaning one who has participated in his/her own purification

The point, according to the Meshekh Hokhmah, is that, when we are alienated from God, we must play an active role in making our way back. No priest or other intermediary can do the work for us. We are all ultimately responsible for our own journey.

Then why is the priest there at all? Although no one else can do the work for us, neither can we make the journey alone. We need the support of others along the way. That is where community comes in. Our task, as members of a spiritual community,  is to provide the support that makes it possible for  each of us, as individuals, to find our own way back.

  • 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 25, is sponsored by Sandra and Tim Barckholtz, and by Sandra’s mother Celia Ejnes.
  • 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.