The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tetzei

In this week’s parashah, Ki Tetzei, Moshe urges the children of Israelto “[let] no shameful thing be seen among you.” The S’fat Emet, highlighting the word “seen,” drew a lesson from that passage about the process of teshuvah or repentance.

To change for the better, we must recognize and regret our mistake. But sometimes too much recognition and regret can block the next step in the process, which is to leave our mistake behind and move on. When we are trapped by shame, we cannot move forward. When awareness of our failure takes up our whole field of vision and we can see no path beyond it, the only way to free ourselves is to pay less attention to our failure, to make it in a sense invisible. According to the S’fat Emet, that is what Moshe meant when he urged us to let “no shameful thing be seen among you.” It is by choosing to stop focusing on the source of our shame, to stop dwelling on it unnecessarily, that we free ourselves to grow beyond it.

May this month of Elul be a time of liberation 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. This Shabbat, September 14, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Stacy Andrews in honor of her brother Scott Albert.
  • 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.