The New Shul

Parshat B’shalah

In this week’s parashah, B’shalahthe story of our liberation from Egypt reaches its climactic moment, the dividing of the sea. The Torah tells us that we responded to that experience with a song of joy and thanksgiving.

According to the S’fat Emet, the essence of liberation is the freeing of our deepest desires. We had always had within us a longing to reach up to God, but we had never known it until the moment when we sang that song. Singing the song was not a response to our liberation. It was our liberation.

We often think that slavery means not getting what we want. But at a deeper level, it means not knowing what we want. We spend so much time and energy pursuing things that cannot make us happy, and that in itself is a form of enslavement. To free ourselves is to remember what we really want in life, what really is worth striving for.

May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, be a time of liberation for all of 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 27, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Nina Targovnik and by Diane Targovnik and John Jacobs.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • On Thursday February 22 at 7 pm, The New Shul will host a lecture by Dr. Rachel Tzvia Back: “The Woman’s Voice in Modern Hebrew Poetry.” On Monday February 26 at 7 pm, we will host a lecture by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld: “Mi Yodea: Humility and Hope in an Uncertain World.” Both lectures are co-sponsored by Valley Beit Midrash