The New Shul

Parshat Vayera

This week’s parashah, Vayera, tells the story of the near-death of Hagar and her son Yishmael. When Hagar lost her way in the desert and ran out of water, she gave up hope and believed that all was lost. But “God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water,” which apparently had been there all along.

Rabbi Yitzhak Meir of Ger learned a lesson from this story:  The things that we need most urgently in life are all right in front of us. We are surrounded by blessings all the time. All that we lack is the ability to recognize them. That is what Psalm 119 means when it says “Open my eyes that I may see. . .” (the words that are embroidered on The New Shul’s ark cover).

Shabbat can help us to sharpen our vision. One day each week, we put aside our longings for the things that we lack and take the time to appreciate the blessings that we already have. We open our eyes and see the gifts that were always right in front of us. May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, bring us the wisdom that comes with gratefulness.

  • 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. This Shabbat, November 4, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Cindy Mann in honor of her parents’ wedding anniversary.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to noon on Shabbat mornings. Our learning service for children is from 11 to 11:45 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.
  • Rabbi Wasserman’s class on the teachings of the early Hasidic masters meets on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm. All are welcome. Our men’s class on the parashah of the week resumes on Sunday evening November 12 at 7 pm at a private home (contact us for details).
  • Our Torah/haftarah reading workshop begins on Wednesday November 8 at 7:30 pm.
  • On Monday evening November 13 at 7 pm, The New Shul will host a lecture by Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz: “Can I Trust You: Kashrut, Social Dynamics and Jewish Unity.”  The lecture is co-sponsored by Valley Beit Midrash.