The New Shul

Parshat B’reisheet

Rabbi Simha Bunem of P’shiskhe understood the first words of the Torah, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,”  to mean that God created the world in such a way that it is always “in the beginning.” The world is never established. It is always on the precipice between existence and non-existence, between form and chaos, just as it was at the moment when it first came into being. God must constantly pour creative energy into the world or it would cease to exist.

In trying times like these, when the world feels very shaky, we naturally yearn for normality. We look forward to a time when the world will feel more stable and secure. But Rabbi Simha Bunem reminds us that there never was, or ever will be such a time. The world is constantly in need of new moral energy to keep it from slipping into chaos. In that sense, it is always at “the beginning,” always on the verge.

Our task, as human beings, is to be God’s partners in the work of creation, which never ends. “God saw all that [God] had made, and behold, it was very good.” Our work is to keep pouring our own goodness, our own love, into God’s world each day, to keep creating it anew.

  • The New Shul’s outdoor Shabbat services begin this week, on Saturday morning October 17 at 9:30 am at the Sandpiper School on Hearn Rd. and 67th Street. Everyone is welcome. Please contact us for details.
  • Other New Shul programs continue on Zoom: They include Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday afternoons, Zoom lay-led Shabbat services, and classes during the week. For more information, please visit our website,
  • On Thursday morning October 22, The New Shul will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Levi Don. Attendance at the service is strictly limited due to Covid, but everyone can participate by Zoom. Please contact us for the link.