The New Shul

Parshat M’tzora/Shabbat Hagdol

The Shabbat before Pesah is called Shabbat Hagadol, “the Great Shabbat,” after the concluding words of its haftarah, which speak of “the great [hagadol] and fearsome day of YHWH.” It is a tradition on this Shabbat to spend time reviewing the laws of biur hametz, the removal of leavened products from our homes.

The removal of hametz is not just an outer cleansing, but an inner one as well. Hametz (which comes from the Hebrew for “fermented”) represents everything that is stagnant in our lives, everything that needs to be aired out and cleansed in order for us to make a fresh start. To truly leave Egypt means to look inside ourselves, to see what has been holding us back from making real choices and taking full responsibility for our lives, and to clear away that innerhametz. May our Pesah preparations be a time of introspection and cleansing for all of us, so that, when we arrive at our Seder tables, we will be ready for the inner redemption that enables us to work for the redemption of the world.

  • 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, April 16, is sponsored by Israel and Carol Naishtut in honor of their 65th wedding anniversary and Israel’s 86th birthday.
  • 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.
  • Pesah begins on Friday night April 22. Services for the first two days of Pesah are on Shabbat and Sunday, April 23 and 24 beginning at 9 am. Services for the last two days are on Friday and Shabbat, April 29 and 30 beginning at 9 am.