The New Shul

Parshat B’reisheet

In this week’s parashah, B’reisheet, God asks two questions of human beings. After Adam and Eve have eaten from the tree of knowledge, God confronts Adam with the question “Ayekah — Where are you?” Later, after Cain has killed his brother Abel, God asks Cain, “Ay Hevel akhikhah — Where is Abel your brother?” 

Those are the two essential questions that we struggle with during the Days of Awe. Where do we stand in relation to God, and where do we stand in relation to each other? Perhaps the Torah puts those two questions to us here, at the very beginning of its narrative, to remind us that those questions are the essence of God’s call to us at all times. The deepest mitzvah, which underlies all other mitzvot, is to understand that we are accountable. All else flows from that.

Every Shabbat, we try to quiet the noise in our lives so that we can hear the still-small voice of Sinai whispering those questions: “Where are you?” and “Where are your brothers and sisters?”

  • 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. This Shabbat morning, October 29, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Eliana Sarfati. The kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Alan and Fanny Sarfati.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning service for grades 2 to 4 is from 11 to 11:40 am.
  • On Sunday morning October 30, at 10 am, the Phoenix Zoo will visit The New Shul in honor of parshat Noah. Bring your children and grandchildren. All are welcome.
  • On Shabbat morning November 5, we will celebrate the (2nd) bar mtizvah of Howard Wernick, as he reaches the age of 83.
  • On Shabbat morning November 12, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Elijah Don.
  • On the Shabbat of November 18-19, our visiting teacher will be Rabbi David Jaffe.