The New Shul

Parshat Va’eira

In this week’s parashah, Va’eira, God reveals to Moshe a divine name, an aspect of God’s identity, that even Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov did not know. Henceforth, Moshe and the children of Israel will know God in a way that even the patriarchs, as great as they were, did not.

The point is that new situations open up the possibility of new religious insights. Each generation has the potential — and the need — to know God in new ways. That is what we mean when we speak of Torah as a living thing, a Tree of Life. Torah grows as we grow, as we add our insights to those that we have inherited.

Often we think of religion as a matter of recovering ancient truths. But it is also about standing fully in the present, a place where our ancestors never stood. Our work as a community of Torah is to try to hear God’s voice where we are now, to learn what we — and only we — can learn  by virtue of our moment in history. In that way, we make our lives truly matter.

  • 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 25, will be sponsored by the Harrell family.
  • 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.
  • On Sunday January 26 at 1 pm, Janette Silverman will give a lecture at The New Shul, sponsored by the Jewish Geneological Society:  “‘A’ My Name is Alice- What’s In a Name?” All are welcome.
  • 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.
  • Join us at The New Shul on Monday February 10 at 7 pm for a lecture by Dr. Pamela Nadell of American University: American Jewish Women: A History from Colonial Times to Today.The lecture is sponsored by the Women’s Jewish Learning Center. It is free of charge, and open to all.
  • Limmud AZ, our community-wide day of Jewish learning, is on Sunday February 9 at ASU. For more information or to register, visit
  • On Shabbat morning February 15, Leah Hadas Targovnik Jacobs will be called to the Torah as a bat mitzvah.