The New Shul

Parshat Emor

This week’s parashah, Emor,  begins with the commandment to the priests not to damage their sanctity by coming into contact with the dead. That is why, to this day, many kohanim avoid going to cemeteries.

Rabbi Hanokh of Alexandrov interpreted that commandment metaphorically, in a way that applies to all of us, not just kohanim. He taught that all of us risk damaging our sanctity as human beings through coolness and detachment, which amount to spiritual death. We must never let the spark of holiness within us be extinguished by moral or spiritual indifference. Our task is to keep our inner fire burning brightly, to remain fully alive to God’s presence in the world.

To be a sacred community is to help one another in that work. By joining together in prayer, by growing together in learning, and by opening our hearts to one another in acts of kindness and compassion, we help each other — and ourselves — to be fully alive.

  • 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 shul, and the desserts are sponsored by Carol and Israel Naishtut in memory of their son Ira and Carol’s mother Syd Lewis.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning service for pre-K to grade 2 is from 11 to 11:45 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 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. For further information, please call or email.