The New Shul

Parshat M’tzora/Shabbat Hagadol

The Shabbat before Pesah, Shabbat Hagadol (the Great Shabbat), takes its name from the final words of the haftarah, in which the prophet Malakhi announces in God’s name: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great [hagadol] and fearsome day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents.”

Malakhi wanted us to understand that, before God can enter our world, we must be at peace with one another. And peace begins within our families. Perhaps that is why the Seder is such a deeply family-centered ritual. On the night when we remember how God broke through into our world and liberated us, we try to be worthy of receiving God’s presence again. We do so, first of all, by drawing close as families — both as natural families and as “voluntary families,” communities of choice. We bind ourselves together by taking time to listen to each other’s questions, to hear each others’ voices, and respond in openness and sensitivity. In that way we try to make our circles of relationships fitting vessels to receive God’s liberating love.

May this Pesah — and the Shabbat of spiritual preparation that precedes it — be a time of peace and freedom for all of us.

  • 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, April 13, will be sponsored by Lois Zeidman in honor of her birthday, and by Israel and Carol Naishtut in honor of their 69th wedding anniversary and Israel’s birthday.
  • Childcare is available on Shabbat mornings from 10 am to noon.
  • The first day of Pesah is Shabbat, April 20, and our service will be from 9 am to noon. Our service for the second day, Sunday April 21, will begin at 9 am as well.
  • Services for the last two days of Pesah will be on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27, beginning at 9 am. The kiddush-lunch on Saturday April 27 will be sponsored by the Kanter-Wasserman family in honor of the engagement of Jonathan Kanter Wasserman and Shira Botzum.
  • Please note that there will be no weekly e-message next week, or the week after, due to the holiday. The weekly message will resume on Thursday May 2.