The New Shul

Sukkot/Shmini Atzeret/Simhat Torah

Parshat V’zot Habrakhah, the final parashah of the Torah which we read on Simhat Torah, begins:  “This is the blessing with which Moshe, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel before his death.”

Why does the Torah refer to Moshe as “the man of God” here, as the story ends, when it has never called him that before? It is strange that the Torah feels the need to introduce Moshe to us in that way when we already know him so well.

The Otzar Hayim explains that it is only now, at the end of Moshe’s life, that he truly becomes a man of God. Why? Because of the blessing that Moshe gives to the people. It is in the act of blessing others that Moshe himself comes closest to God.

The same is true of us. The blessings that we bring to each other, the love and the kindness that we share with those around us, open our hearts to the transcendent. In reaching outward, we cannot help but reach upward. In the coming year, may our work of building true community raise us up as well.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat services are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, October 3, is at the Kanter/Wasserman sukkah. Everyone is welcome.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Learning services for children this Shabbat are at the following times: 11 to 11:30 am for toddlers and pre-schoolers, and 11 to 11:45 am for grades 1 to 3.
  • Shmini Atzeret is on Monday October 5. Our service begins at 9 am, and includes Yizkor, the memorial prayer.
  • Simhat Torah begins on Monday evening October 5. Join us for hakafot and dancing at 7 pm. Our service for the morning of Simhat Torah, Tuesday October 6, begins at 9 am.
  • On Shabbat morning October 17, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Kian Bobrow. On Shabbat morning, October 24, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Michael Berro.