The New Shul

Parshat Vay’chi

This week’s parashah, Vay’chi, begins with Yaakov’s blessing to his grandsons, Menashe and Efrayim. Yaakov’s blessing is the model for the weekly blessing that we give to our children at the Shabbat table. The Torah tells us that Yaakov “blessed them that very day.”

Rabbi Asher of Stolin asked why the Torah added those seemingly unnecessary words, “that very day”? He answered that the purpose of those words is not to teach us about the timing of Yaakov’s blessing but about its content. Yaakov blessed his grandsons with the blessing of “that very day-ness,” of being truly present in the moment.

We spend so much of our energy dwelling in the past, or worrying about the future. But it is only in the present, in the moment where we are, that life truly takes place. It is there that we have the ability to meet each other, and to encounter God. The greatest blessing of all is that of presentness. May we all, like Yaakov’s grandsons, know that blessing.

  • 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, December 22, will be sponsored by Bob Clinton and Janette Silverman in memory of Bob’s father Fred Clinton.
  • Childcare is available on Shabbat mornings from 10 am to noon.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7 pm.