The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tetzei

This week’s parashah, Ki Tetzei, teaches that, if your neighbor’s ox or donkey has collapsed under its load, you are required to help your neighbor raise the animal up. “You shall surely raise it with him.” Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Kotzk read the verse with an emphasis on the word “with.” We are not required to do the work for our neighbor, but in partnership with him or her.

The Kotzker Rebbe went on to interpret the verse as a parable about teshuvah, our work of inner change, and  God’s participation in it. If we wish to to unload the burdens that keep us trapped in the past, that crush our potential for growth, then God will help us. God will not — cannot — do it for us, but rather with us. We must make a beginning. Then God will help to lift us up.

That first step, the sincere yearning for change, is what everything else depends on. It can come only from us. From that point on, we will not be alone.

During this season of teshuvah, may we, with God’s help, make our lives new.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat services are on Friday evenings from 6 to 7 pm, and on Saturday mornings from 9 am to 12 noon. The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, August 25 is sponsored by Akiva Elhart and David Midler, and co-sponsored by Debby and Kenn Harris.
  • Childcare is available from 10 am to 12 noon on Shabbat mornings.
  • If you would like to get a head start on the holidays by learning some of our prayer-melodies for the Days of Awe, join us for a series of workshops in the shul library, from 12:40 to 1 pm, this Shabbat August 25, and on September 1 and 8.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, Monday evenings at 7 pm, and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • S’lihot is on the night of Saturday September 1. Please join us at 8:45 pm for a screening and discussion of The Women’s Balcony (Shlomit Nehama and Emil Ben-Shimon, 2016). The S’lihot service will begin at approximately 11 pm.
  • On Labor Day, Monday September 3, The New Shul community will serve meals to the hungry at St. Vincent de Paul’s Jackson St. dining room. Please let us know if you can help.
  • For more information on The New Shul, including a full schedule of classes and events, please visit our website, Complete information on our services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is available here.