The New Shul

Parshat B’midbar/Shavuot

In this week’s parashah, B’midbar (“In the Wilderness”), we make the transition from Mount Sinai, the place of revelation, to the wilderness of Sinai, the place of journeying. We come down from the mountaintop and begin life on the desert floor.

The parashah begins by locating us in time: “On the first day of the second month in the second year. . . ”  It has been a long time since the Torah specified a date. As long as we were learning Torah on the mountaintop, time made no difference. But now, as we come down to earth, we become conscious of time again.

The author of Birkat David explained that it is always so. After revelation, time becomes of the essence. After moments of clarity and insight that bring our priorities into focus, we feel an urgency to use our time well. We become intensely aware of the importance of each passing minute.

On Shavuot, our yearly festival of revelation, time stands still for us as it did at Mount Sinai. But afterwards, the Torah that we have internalized moves us to make time count. May the Torah that we share this Shavuot help us to live more fully and more meaningfully.

  • 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 Jason and Carey Lamm in honor London’s and Julian’s birthday..
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning service for grades 3 to 6 is from 10:15 to 11:30 am this Shabbat.
  • Shavuot begins this 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.
  • Our service for the second day of Shavuot, Monday May 25, will be from 9 to 11:30 am, and will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer.