The New Shul

Parshat Va-et’hanan/Shabbat Nahamu

In this week’s parashah, Va-et’hanan, Moshe commands the children of Israel: “You shall love YHWH your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you this day shall be upon your heart.” 

Why “upon your heart,” and not “in your heart”? According to Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk, Moshe was a realist. He understood that we will not always feel words of Torah in our hearts, no matter how meaningful and compelling they might be.  Much of the time our hearts are closed, and words of Torah just cannot break through. So Moshe taught us to place these words upon our hearts, to have them close by even when we do not fully feel them. Then, at those precious moments when our hearts do open, those words will be right there, ready to enter.

Shabbat is a day with a unique power to open the human heart. May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat help the words that are upon our hearts to find their way inside.

  • 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, August 20, is sponsored by Amanda Holley and Ramey Wyble in honor of their upcoming marriage.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • Weekday minyanim at The New Shul are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, Monday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday mornings at 7 am and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • On Labor Day, Monday September 5, 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.
  • Information on The New Shul’s services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is available here.