The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tissa/Shabbat Parah

This week’s parashah, Ki Tissa,¬†tells the story of the golden calf. As the children of Israel worshiped the calf at the foot of the mountain, God said to Moshe on the mountaintop, “Go down, for your people has sinned!”

On the surface, God seems to be ordering Moshe to go down to fix the problem. But the rabbis of the Talmud interpreted God’s words differently. They understood God to be saying, “Moshe, now that the community below has rejected me, this Torah that we are writing up here has no purpose — so you may as well go down.”

According to the late Rabbi David Hartman, the point that the Talmudic rabbis were making is that individual “Sinai” moments — experiences of spiritual insight and intensity — have meaning only to the extent that they make a difference in the real world. Judaism is not about experiencing God alone on mountaintops, but about building communities of living Torah in the world below, where people actually live.

Together, may we work to make our Torah 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. This Shabbat, March 14, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Arnie and Shelly Silverman in honor of their wedding anniversary and Shelly’s birthday. A cake will be sponsored by the Dashe family in honor of the birthdays of CiCi and Raffi Dashe, and of Denise Fried.
  • 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.