The New Shul

Parshat Miketz/Hanukah

In the second blessing over the Hanukah lights, we thank God for performing “miracles for our ancestors . . . at this time [baz’man hazeh] “ — meaning, at this time of year. The S’fat Emet interpreted the phrase “at this time” differently, to mean that the miracle of Hanukah still takes place today.

In what sense does that miracle still occur? The story of the oil that lasted for eight days is a story of the partnership between the divine and the human. The Macabees reached upward– they lit the lamp, even though they knew that they did not have enough oil to keep it burning. God responded by reaching downward, keeping the flame alive. The miracle was that we and God met each other half way.

Every mitzvah is like that. Every act of worship, every act of kindness, brings a little bit of God into the world. But it does so only because, like the Macabees, we dare to take a risk, to reach beyond ourselves. It is in that sense that the miracle of Hanukah still takes place in our time. The story repeats itself in every sacred deed that we perform.

  • 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 28, will be sponsored by Ed and Debra Borenstein in honor of their 39th wedding anniversary. The desserts will be sponsored by Ruth Silon in honor of her grandson Rimon Rosen chanting the haftarah.
  • 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.
  • This Saturday night, 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.