The New Shul

Parshat Vayikra/Shabbat Zakhor

This Shabbat, we will begin the third book of the Torah, the book of Vayikra or Leviticus. The book begins: “God called to Moshe and spoke to him. . . “

Why does the Torah bother to mention that God called to Moshe, when it could have gone straight to the point (as it usually does) and simply told us what God said? According to Rashi, the Torah wanted to teach us how to address each other in a more God-like way. Rashi wrote: “All communications and commandments from God were preceded by a call, which is an expression of love.”

Why is calling to a person with whom we wish to speak an expression of love? Because to call someone is to single out that person by name. It is to acknowledge that person’s uniqueness, to recognize who that person truly is.  Often, in the rush of life, we speak to people as if they were interchangable. But to take a moment to acknowledge that the person to whom we speak is an individual, unlike any other, is a great gift.  It is to grant that person his/her dignity as an image of God.  In that sense, it is an expression of love.

When we speak to one another, may we always start by recognizing who it is that we are speaking to.

  • 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, March 16, we will welcome Sophie Rehrig into the community of Israel. The kiddush-lunch  will be sponsored by Michael and Jennie Kronenfeld in honor of Michael’s retirement.
  • 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.
  • Purim begins on Wednesday night March 20. Join us at The New Shul for our megillah reading and sh’piel, beginning at 7 pm. Our service on the morning of Purim, Thursday March 21, will begin at 8 am and will include a second reading of the megillah.