The New Shul

Parshat Vay’chi

In this week’s parashah, Vay’chi, Yaakov gives his final blessing to each of his children before his death.  As part of his blessing to Yehudah, Yaakov compliments him on his appearance: “His eyes are darker than wine, his teeth are whiter than milk.”

Based loosely on the wording of that blessing, Rabbi Yohanan taught in the Babylonian Talmud:  “It is better to show another person the whiteness of your teeth (i.e.  to give a big smile)  than to give that person milk to drink.”  In other words, the gift of a smile, though fleeting and intangible, can be more nourishing than any material gift that we might give.  The support and validation — the deep acknowledgment of the other person’s humanness — that comes with a simple smile can be the most generous blessing of all.

May we give (and receive) many such blessings each day.

  • 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, December 30, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Aaron Singer and Elizabeth Caspe and by Gary Singer and Jeannie Sklar, in honor of Dale and Alan Singer’s 50th 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.
  • On New Year’s Day, Monday January 1, and on Martin Luther King Day, Monday January 15, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson Street dining room. Please let us know if you can help.
  • The New Shul’s annual meeting is on Sunday February 4 at 10:30 am. All are welcome. The meeting is followed by a blood drive in the afternoon. Please contact us for an appointment to give blood.