The New Shul

Parshat Vayera

There are two mountains that played key roles in the story of the Jewish people: Mount Sinai, where God reached down from heaven and gave us the Torah, and Mount Moriah, where — in this week’s parashah — Avraham reached up and offered his son to God.  It was on Mount Moriah that the Beit Hamikdash, God’s Temple, was built.

Rabbi Hayim of Zanz asked why it was Mount Moriah, and not Mount Sinai, that became God’s dwelling place on earth. What place could be more holy than Mount Sinai? Why was the Beit Hamikdash not built there?

Rabbi Hayim’s answer was that, when it comes to building sacred space, our reaching up is more important than God’s reaching down. God’s ability to be present on earth depends much more on what we do than on what God does. It is our willingness to give over our hearts, to acknowledge that all that we have belongs to God, that makes it possible for the infinite to dwell in a finite world.

Together, may we make our shul God’s dwelling place.

  • 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, November 16, will be sponsored by the Kanter-Wasserman family in memory of Rabbi Shamai Kanter. The cakes will be sponsored by the Ross family in honor of Ora’s birthday.
  • 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, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm. Please note that, beginning in December, our evening minyanim will move to 6:30 pm.
  • On Monday November 18, The New Shul will host two lectures by Dr. Daniel Matt:  “Elijah the Prophet: The Jewish Superhero Who Never Died” at 1 pm, and “Raising the Sparks: Finding God in the Material World” at 7 pm. Both lectures are sponsored by Valley Beit Midrash.