The New Shul

Parshat T’tzaveh

This week’s parashah, T’tzaveh, explains the procedure by which Aaron and his sons were to be ordained as kohanim, or priests. The Torah’s term for priestly ordination is “miluim” — literally “filling up.” As a verb, the term is “l’malei et yadav — to fill [the kohen’s] hands.”

Why does the Torah speak of priestly ordination as “filling up”? According to Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, it is to teach us that we find fulfillment in this world only when we serve a higher cause, as the priests did. When we focus on our own needs, we always feel that we are lacking something. We never feel completely full. But when we dedicate ourselves to something greater, our lives become full in the process.

On Shabbat, we step back from our regular routine in order to restore our larger sense of purpose. We remember that, at Sinai, God called upon us to become a “kingdom of priests,” dedicated to making God’s world more whole. That is what makes Shabbat a day of such great fullness, a day on which we feel our blessings overflowing.

  • 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, Februay 16, will be sponsored by Fay and Aubrey Palestrant in honor of their family, and especially their new granddaughter Maya Sophia Belkind.
  • 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 through Thursday evenings at 7 pm.
  • On Shabbat morning February 23, our guest teacher will be Rabbi Robert Dobrusin from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
  • On Shabbat morning March 2, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Emily Pertsovsky, daughter of Igor and Julia Pertsovsky.
  • Join us for dinner at The New Shul on Friday night March 15, after the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult and $9 per child under 18 (no charge for children under 5). Please make your reservations by Monday March 10. If you would like to pay on-line, you can do so here.