The New Shul

Parshat Lekh L’kha

In this week’s parashah, Lekh L’kha, God commands Avraham: “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. . . thus shall be your descendants.”

On the surface, God’s promise is that Avraham’s descendants will be as numerous as the stars. But Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin interpreted the promise in a different way. He understood the word “thus” to refer not to the number of the stars but to Avraham’s attempt to count them. “Thus shall be your descendants” means, not that Avraham’s descendents will be too numerous to count, but that, like Avraham himself, they will dare to do what seems impossible — such as to count the stars. We will not limit our aspirations to what we think we can achieve. We will understand that what we can achieve depends on the greatness of our aspirations.

Rabbi Meir Shapira’s understanding of God’s promise is the opposite of what it seems to be on the surface. A people’s greatness is measured not by its numbers but by its sense of mission, not by what is outwardly quantifiable but by what lies deeper inside. May we be true heirs to Avraham by cultivating the inner strengths that matter most.

  • 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. This Shabbat, October 20, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Perry and Susan Tasky.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.
  • Wise Aging, a group discussion and support program for seniors, begins at The New Shul on Wednesday October 24 at 3 pm, and continues every other Wednesday through December 19. To learn more or to register, please contact us.
  • On Shabbat Vayera, October 27, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Isaac Don, son of David and Rachael Don.