The New Shul

Parshat K’doshim

This week’s parashah, K’doshim, begins with the command:  “You shall be holy (k’doshim) as I YHVH your God am holy.”  It then goes on to teach a long list of practices, both ritual and ethical, that help to make us holy.

Although the parashah gives us many examples of what holiness looks like, it never actually defines the term.  What is holiness? The root meaning of the word kadosh is “separate,”  “set apart.”  But what is it that we are to be separate from?

Perhaps the Torah’s point is that, just as God is transcendent —  i.e. separate from us —  so we must, in a sense, be separate from ourselves.  Our work as human beings is to step back from the personal preoccupations that tie up so much of our energy so that we can see the world (including ourselves) from a higher, God-like perspective. The whole repertoire of Jewish practice, both ritual and ethical, can be understood as a way to help us rise above our natural self-centeredness, to see the world as God sees it.

May we, as a sacred community, support each other in that work.

  • 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, May 14, is sponsored by the shul.
  • 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.
  • Shavuot begins on Saturday night June 11. Join us for ourTikkun Leil Shavuot, our all night study-vigil, from 9:30 pm until Sunday morning at dawn.