The New Shul

Parshat Va’eira

In this week’s parashah, Va’eira, God promises the children of Israel enslaved in Egypt:   “. . . I shall take you to be my people. . . and you shall know that I am YHWH.”

Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev understood the second promise to follow directly from the first.  “I shall take you to be my people” refers to the gift of the Torah, which binds us to God. And it is by virtue of that bond that we come to know the unknowable, to understand who God is.

In other words, it is not through abstract thought and speculation that we comprehend the divine. It is through a concrete way of life. God is beyond the human mind’s capacity to understand. But sacred narratives and sacred deeds can capture the infinite in a way that the intellect cannot. What we cannot know with our minds we can experience with our whole selves, by living lives of Torah.

May our work as a community, our work of bringing Torah to life, help each of us to experience in our own way who God is.

  • 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, January 9, is sponsored by Rachael and David Don in honor of The New Shul community.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Learning services for children are at the following times: from 11 to 11:30 am.for toddlers and preschoolers, from 11 to 11:45 am for grades 1 to 3, and from 10:15 to 11:45 am for grades 4 to 6.
  • Minyanim 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.
  • The Womens’ Jewish Learning Center’s havdalah event – “Wine, Women and Wisdom” – is this Saturday January 9 from 7 to 8:30 pm. See the WJLC website for further information.
  • On Shabbat morning January 16, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Risa Farber, daughter of Paul and Halle Farber.
  • On Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 18, and on Presidents Day, Monday February 15, the New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson St. dining room. Please let us know if you can help.
  • Join us at Limmud AZ, a community-wide day of Jewish learning, on Sunday January 31. See the Limmud website for more information.
  • The New Shul community’s annual meeting is on Sunday February 7 at 10 am. All are welcome.