The New Shul

Parshat Vay’chi

In this week’s parashah, Vay’chi, Yaakov blesses his two grandsons Menashe and Efrayim shortly before his death. Before blessing the boys, Yaakov turns to his son Yosef, the boys’ father, and recounts some of the key events in his own life, including the death of Yosef’s mother Rachel. Then Yaakov adds, “I had no hope of seeing you again, yet God has given me the gift of seeing your children.”

Why does Yaakov recall that gift now? After all, it has been many years since he has been reunited with Yosef and since he has met his grandsons. The author of Divrei Yirmiyahu explains that, having just recalled the death of Rachel, Yaakov needs to raise his spirits before he can properly bless his grandsons. It is only in a state of joy that one can be a source of blessing. Yaakov consciously reminds himself how fortunate he is so that he can give more of himself.

If we wish to be a source of blessing to others, it helps to remember the blessings that we ourselves have received. By choosing to focus on the aspects of our life-story that make us feel full, as opposed to those that make us feel empty and in need, we find that we can give more to others.

May Shabbat, our day of fullness, help us to remember what we have, and what we have to give.

  • 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, January 11, will be sponsored by Carol Wolintz.
  • 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.
  • The annual meeting of The New Shul community will be on Sunday morning February 2. Breakfast will be at 10 am, and the meeting will follow at 10:30. All are welcome.