The New Shul

Parshat Tzav/Shabbat Hagadol

Concerning the central symbol of Pesah, the Torah commands us: “Be attentive toward the matzot, for on this very day [b’etzem hayom hazeh] I brought the children of Israel forth from the land of Egypt [Exodus 12:17].”

The word b’etzem — “this very” — is related to the Hebrew word for “self.” Based on the similarity of words, the S’fat Emet taught that the Exodus from Egypt was really about the liberation of our deepest selves, the renewal of the tiny point of divine light within each of us, which slavery had almost extinguished. Unleavened bread, in its radical simplicity, is a reminder of that pure inner light, which we can so easily lose touch with. We are attentive toward the matzot in order to remind ourselves that we must guard that inner point.

In the kiddush on Friday nights, we speak of Shabbat as a “reminder of the Exodus from Egypt.” Every Shabbat is like Pesah, in that it helps us to renew the inner spark of holiness that makes us truly human. May our shul be a place of liberation for us every week, a place that helps us to remember who we ultimately are.

  • 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, April 8, is sponsored by Walter Lamm in memory of his mother.
  • 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.
  • Pesah begins on Monday night April 10. Our services for the first two days of Pesah are on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 11 and 12, beginning at 9 am. Our kiddush-lunch on the first day of Pesah, Tuesday April 11, is sponsored by Israel and Carol Naishtut in honor of their 66th wedding anniversary and Israel’s 87th birthday.
  • Our kiddush-lunches on the remaining days of Pesah, including Shabbat, are sponsored by all those who contributed to our Pesah fund (we will acknowledge them on the Shabbat of Pesah).
  • Our services for the last two days of Pesah are on Monday and Tuesday April 17 and 18 beginning at 9 am. Our service for the last day, Tuesday April 18, will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer.
  • Please note that there will be no e-bulletin next week. The bulletin will resume on Thursday April 20.