The New Shul

Purim/Parshat T’tzaveh

The Hassidic masters took Purim very seriously — as seriously as they took Yom Kippur. In fact they equated the two holidays through a play on words. Yom Kippurim (another name for Yom Kippur) can be understood as “a day that is like Purim.”

How are Purim and Yom Kippur similar? As the S’fat Emet explained, the two holidays achieve the same end through different means. On Yom Kippur we fast and pray in order to transcend ourselves. We rise above our own needs, our own egos, so that we can see the world from a higher point of view. On Purim, we drink and masquerade for the same purpose. By blurring our boundaries and making ourselves ridiculous, we deflate our egos and rise above ourselves.

The S’fat Emet reminds us that spiritual growth takes many forms, some strange and unexpected. The ancient rabbis taught that, on Purim, we should strive to reach the point where we cannot tell the difference between “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordekhai.” Sometimes we find holiness in surprising places.

  • Purim begins this evening, Thursday February 25. Join us in The New Shul parking lot, at 7825 E. Paradise Lane, for the reading of the megillah at 6:30 pm. Masks and social distancing are required. Our shpiel, directed by Marni Anbar, will be on Zoom at 7:30 pm. Please contact us for the link.
  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service takes place outdoors and off-site, on the grounds of the Sandpiper School, 6724 E. Hearn Rd, from 9:30 to 11:30 am on Saturday mornings. Everyone is welcome. Please use the west parking lot and come around the back of the school. Masks and social distancing are required (for distancing purposes, you might want to bring your own chair). Informal attire is fine.
  • The kiddush this Shabbat, February 27, is sponsored by Steve and Yael Wininger.
  • All other New Shul events continue online. They include: Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday afternoons (5:00 pm this Friday), Havdalah (7:00 pm this Saturday night), daily text study, and weekly classes. Please contact us for the Zoom link.