The New Shul

Parshat Mishpatim/Shabbat Sh’kalim

This week’s parashah, Mishpatim, begins: “These are the laws that you [Moshe] shall place before them.” The Siftei Kohen interpreted the word “them” to refer to judges who would be responsible for deciding future cases.

The Siftei Kohen goes on to interpret “them” as a veiled reference to the passage in Pirkei Avot that teaches that no judge except God should ever decide a case alone. In other words, the most significant thing about the pronoun “them” is that it is plural. It teaches us that reaching a proper verdict, understanding what is right in any particular case, requires more than one voice. We must listen as well as speak.

The larger point is that, when it comes to making judgments in general, we need each other. It is through dialogue, through give and take, that we all become wiser. Only God is one. The rest of us live and thrive in plurality.

May our openness to each other’s voices, and our willingness to share our own, help us to grow, so that our words may truly be words of Torah.

  • Shabbat services at The New Shul are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, February 25, is sponsored by Denise Ost in memory of her father Howard Lazell and her son Jordan Ost.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning service for grades K to 4 is from 11 to 11:40 am.
  • 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.
  • Purim begins on Saturday night March 11. Join us for our megillah reading and shpiel beginning at 7:30 pm.