The New Shul

Parshat B’shalah

This Shabbat is called Shabbat Shirah, the Shabbat of Song, because in this week’s parashah we read the Song of the Sea, which the children of Israel sang after the waters had divided for them. The ancient rabbis taught that the experience of redemption at the sea was also an experience of revelation. God’s presence became a living reality for the chidren of Israel as they witnessed the miracle. Their song was a response to their experience of God’s nearness.

The Slonimer Rebbe taught that it can also work the other way around. Just as song can be a way of responding to God’s nearness, it can also be a way of bringing God near in the first place, by opening our hearts to the transcendent. Sometimes it is the song itself that splits the sea, that enables us to feel God’s presence as our ancestors did.

In our worship on Shabbat, we rely on what the Slonimer taught. We sing not in response to miracles but in an effort to create one, to bring God into our world. Melody has a power to open our hearts that words alone do not. Together, may we rediscover that power each week.

  • 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 23, is sponsored by Ruth Silon and Zera Lipetz in honor of Sam and Galit Rosen and their family who are moving to Boston next week. The cakes are sponsored by Michael and Shaindel Ross in honor of Bella’s 6th birthday, and by Stacy Andrews in honor of Andrea Sutter-Feinberg running her first half-marathon.
  • 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 preschoolers and from 11 to 11:45 am for grades 1 to 3.
  • 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.
  • 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 10:00 am. All are welcome.
  • 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 for Friday night dinner at The New Shul on February 26, following the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult, and $9 per child under 18 (no charge for children under 5). Please make your reservation by Friday February 19.