The New Shul

Parshat P’kudei

This week’s parashah, P’kudei, completes the story of the building of the mishkan, the sacred structure in which God would dwell among the children of Israel. The parashah ends “The cloud of YHWH was upon the mishkan by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the eyes of all Israel throughout their journeys.”

Perhaps the key phrase is “in the eyes of all Israel.” God’s presence is everywhere, but most of the time we do not see it, and so we experience the world as spiritually empty. The purpose of sacred structures –both physical structures like the mishkan and behavioral structures like the patterns of Jewish practice — is to challenge us to open our eyes and see that “the whole world is full of God’s glory.”  Sacred structures do not make God more present, but they do make God more present “in the eyes of all Israel.”

May our shul, and the life of mitzvah that we build there, help to open our eyes and hearts 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, March 12, is sponsored by Howard and Alice Fierstein in memory of Howard’s father Sam Fierstein.
  • 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, 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.
  • Erev Purim is Wednesday night, March 23. Join us at 7 pm for the reading of the megillah, and our shpiel “Elvis Rockin’ Purim.”