The New Shul

Parshat Vayeshev

At the beginning of this week’s parashah, Vayeshev, Yosef sets out on a journey. He meets a stranger who asks him where he is going. Yosef answers “Et ahai anokhi m’vakesh — I am searching for my brothers” — ironic words, since the “brothers” that he is searching for will sell him into slavery. But Yosef’s words do offer us a glimpse of what could be, what it might mean for brothers to be truly concerned for one another.

In the story of Hanukah, which begins on Sunday night, we see what brothers who are truly brothers can accomplish. The Maccabees restored light to a world that had gone dark, and they did it through their solidarity with one another.

We cannot bring God’s light into this world alone. That is why we start with those closest to us, our family and community. In loving them, we learn what it might mean to recognize and honor the sacred sparks in those outside our circle as well. And the love that we receive from family and community give us the strength to do that work. Searching for our brothers and sisters, seeking out the best in them — and in the process finding the best in ourselves — enables us to spread God’s light more widely.

May our shul always be a place of light and warmth for us. And through us, may it help to bring more light and warmth into the larger world.

  • 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, December 21, will be sponsored by Arnie and Shelly Silverman in honor of Arnie’s 89th 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 6:30 pm.
  • Hanukah begins on Sunday night December 22. On the Saturday night of Hanukah, December 28, please join us for our annual Hanukah Coffee House at 7:30 pm. There will be lots of music and other entertainment by our own local talent, plus home-made latkes and other refreshments. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.
  • On Shabbat afternoon, January 4, after kiddush, Janette Silverman will teach about “The Mysteries of Our Jewish Families,” based on her work in Jewish geneology.
  • On January 24, join us for Friday night dinner at The New Shul after the 6 pm service. The cost is $18 per adult, and $9 per teen/child under 18 (no charge for children under 5). Please make your reservation by Sunday January 19. If you wish to pay online, you can do so here.