The New Shul

Parshat Shoftim

This week’s parashah, Shoftim, begins:  “You shall appoint judges and magistrates for yourself. . . and judge the people righteously.”  An anonymous commentor cited inItturei Torah interpreted the passage metaphorically, as a teaching about how we grow as individuals.

He read the first clause with special emphasis on the words“for yourself,” to mean that we must first of all judge ourselves. He read the second clause, “and judge the people righteously,”  to mean that, having judged ourselves first, we will judge others more favorably. We will see more righteousness in them. The more responsibility we take for our own faults, the less likely we are to project those faults onto others.

During the month of Elul, we examine our lives in preparation for the Days of Awe. We try to judge ourselves from God’s perspective. One practical way to check our progress is to see if we are growing more patient toward the people around us. May this time of self-examination draw us closer to our family, our friends, and our community.

  • 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, August 22, is sponsored by Fran Richter and Sandra Harris in honor of Fran’s birthday.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings, and includes a learning service for toddlers and pre-schoolers from 11 to 11:30 am. Our learning service for grades 1 to 3 resumes on August 29 from 11 to 11:45 am.
  • Join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on August 28, after the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult, and $9 per child under 18 (no charge for children under 5). Please send in your payment by Friday August 21 to make your reservation (if you wish to pay online, you can do so here).
  • Join us for the night of S’lihot, Saturday September 5 at 9 pm. We will begin with a screening and discussion of the film “Fill the Void” as a text on teshuvah. The S’lihot service will follow at about 11 pm.
  • On Labor Day, Monday September 7, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson Street dining room. Please let us know if you can help.
  • Information on The New Shul’s services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is available here.