The New Shul

Parshat Vayak’hel/Shabbat Sh’kalim

In this week’s parashah, Vayak’hel, the community of Israel carries out God’s instructions for building the mishkan, God’s portable home on earth. Moshe begins by calling on everyone with a willing heart to contribute materials for the project. “Take from yourselves an offering for God.”

Moshe could have simply said “Take an offering.” Why did he add “from yourselves”? According to the Slonimer Rebbe, Moshe meant to teach that the most important part of any gift is the part of ourselves that goes with it. The Talmud teaches that “God wants the heart.” It is when we give of ourselves that we feel most deeply that our lives have meaning and purpose.

In the work of building spiritual community, the most important gift that we can contribute is an open heart — an openness to searching and growing together in prayer, in learning, and in caring for each other. It is in that collective openness that God finds a home on earth. May we all find joy in giving that gift to each other, and to God.

  • 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, March 5, is sponsored by Valerie and Adam Brodsky and Karen and Ivan Brodsky.
  • According to the ancient rabbis, one should always bem’hadesh davar, adding something new to prayer.  This Shabbat we invite you to participate in an alternative to P’sukei d’Zimra  (at about 9:15 am), a meditation session in the library, while the traditional P’sukei d’Zimra takes place in the Sanctuary.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Learning services for children this Shabbat are 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 11:30 am for grades 4 to 5.
  • 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.
  • Erev Purim is Wednesday night, March 23. Join us at 7 pm for the reading of the megillah, and our shpiel “Elvis Rockin’ Purim.”