The New Shul

Parshat Toldot

In this week’s parashah, Toldot, Yitzhak re-opens the wells that his father Avraham had originally dug and that the Philistines had since filled in. The Hasidic masters understood that as a spiritual metaphor. Yitzhak was searching for the living waters of God’s presence, which Avraham had already experienced.

The Torah says that Yitzhak called the first two wells “Esek (busyness/preoccupation)” and “Sitna (conflict),” because the Philistines struggled with him over the water. But the third well he called “Rehovot (expansiveness),” because there the Philistines left him in peace.

Rabbi Yitzhak Meir of Ger understood the first two wells as symbols of the work-week, whcn pre-occupation and conflict make it hard for us to find God’s living waters. He understood the third well, Rehovot, as a symbol of Shabbat, when peace and expansiveness make the water more accessible.

God is always present, but our  struggles often make it hard for us to know that. Shabbat helps us to access the living waters that are always flowing just beneath the surface, but that we often cannot reach during the week. This Shabbat, and every Shabbat, may we drink our fill.

  • 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 is sponsored by Fay and Aubrey Palestrant.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Learning services for children this Shabbat are at the following times: from 11 to 11:30 am for toddlers and pre-schoolers, and from 11 to 11:45 am for grades 1 to 3.
  • Hanukah begins on Sunday night December 6. On Saturday night December 12, join us at 7 pm for our annual Hanukah Coffee House. There will be lots of live music and other entertainment by our own local talent. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.
  • On New Years Day, Friday January 1, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson Street dining room from 10 am to 1 pm. Please let us know if you can help.