The New Shul

Parshat D’varim/Shabbat Hazon

The Shabbat before the 9th of Av (the day of mourning for the destruction of Jerusalem), is called Shabbat Hazon, “the Shabbat of Vision.”¬† It takes its name from the first word of the haftarah, a harsh prophetic rebuke, which begins “The vision of Isaiah. . . “

Rabbi Avraham Yaakov of Sadigora suggested a more positive understanding of the name “Shabbat of Vision.” He taught that this Shabbat is the most precious of all Shabbatot, because it is at this darkest time of year that we most appreciate the light that Shabbat brings. Shabbat Hazon is like a lantern in a cave, whose light enables us to recognize God’s presence at a time when it is particularly hard to see.

Even during ordinary weeks, our challenges and frustrations have a way of narrowing our perspective. Our struggles to meet our obligations limit our hozons. But Shabbat gives us space to see beyond our immediate struggles. It helps us to remember what we ultimately struggle for, what makes our efforts worth it. Then, having broadened our perspective, we return to the work week with a clearer sense of purpose, and renewed energy. In that sense, every Shabbat is a “Shabbat of Vision.”

May the Shabbat that we build together be a source of vision, and wisdom, for us when we need it 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, August 10, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by the Harrell family in celebration of their conversion to Judaism.
  • Childcare is available on Shabbat mornings from 10 am to noon.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm.
  • Join us on the evening of the 9th of Av, Saturday August 10, at 8:30 pm for the reading of Eikhah (the book of Lamentations), and text study and discussion.