The New Shul

Parshat Sh’mot

This week’s parashah, Sh’mot, tells the story of our enslavement in Egypt. The story begins with the rise of a new Pharoah “who knew not Yosef.”

Rashi wondered, how could any Pharoah not have heard of Yosef, who had saved Egypt from famine? Rashi explained that what the Torah really meant was that the new Pharoah acted as if he had not heard of Yosef. He chose not to remember, and that choice was the beginning of our enslavement.

Often we become our own Pharoah. We enslave ourselves by choosing not to remember what we know. We  forget our deepest values and priorities, and allow ourselves to be distracted by more superficial things. And when we do, we descend into Mitzrayim (Egypt), which the rabbis understood to be “the narrow place.”

It is by taking time to remember what matters most to us in life that we become free again. We call Shabbat “zeikher liy’tziyiat Mitzrayim” (a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt), because on Shabbat we step back and re-order our priorities. We remember what we already know. May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, be a day of liberation for us.

  • 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, January 6, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Arnie and Shelly Silverman in honor of Arnie’s 87th birthday.
  • 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 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.