The New Shul

Parshat Vayishlah

In this week’s parashah, VayishlahYaakov receives his new identity as Yisrael, the one who struggles with God. Yaakov’s willingness to wrestle with the divine, to keep God in this world and not allow God to withdraw to heaven, defines him as the father of the Jewish people. As heirs to Yisrael, we do the same thing each time we perform a mitzvah, a sacred deed. We wrestle God to earth. We make the transcendent, the ultimate mystery, a tangible presence in our world.

On Shabbat, we come to shul to seek peace, to escape the struggles that preoccupy us during the rest of the week. But the peace that we seek is not a static, lazy peace. It is a peace that makes it possible for us to engage in a different kind of struggle. the struggle to grow, to search, to seize the divine.

May the quiet of Shabbat enable us, like Yisrael our ancestor, to bring heaven down to earth.

  • 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, December 17, is sponsored by Jason Lamm.
  • Childcare is available on Shabbat mornings from 10 am to noon. Our learning service for grades 2 to 4 is from 11 to 11:40 am.
  • The New Shul’s Hanukah Coffee House is on Saturday night December 24 at 7:30 pm. Join us for lots of live music and other entertainment by our own local talent. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.
  • On Shabbat morning, December 31, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Naomi Anbar, daughter of Ariel and Marni Anbar.
  • On New Year’s Day, Sunday January 1, and on Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 16, 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.