The New Shul

Parshat Emor

This week’s parashah, Emor, teaches about the zevah todah, the sacrificial offering of gratitude, which was shared with God at times of celebration. The Torah says: “It shall be eaten on that very day [the day on which we offer it]. You shall not leave any of it to tomorrow. I am YHWH.”

Why is the commandment to eat that sacrificial offering on the same day followed by the declaration “I am YHWH”?

To be grateful, in the deepest sense, is to feel the fullness of the moment. It is to be present here and now without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Such moments of deep presence are also moments of spiritual openness and insight, when we encounter the divine. The divine name YHWH (which comes from the Hebrew root “to be”) can be understood to mean “the ever-present One, the One who is right now.” At times when we are truly present, we meet the One who is as well. We know with our whole selves that “I am YHWH.”

Shabbat, our day of wholeness, is a time not to become but just to be. In doing so, we come into the presence of the One who is.

  • Due to Covid, The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service takes place outdoors and off-site, on the grounds of the Sandpiper School, 6724 E. Hearn Rd (Please note that, beginning this Shabbat, Saturday May 1, our service will begin at 9 am instead of 9:30). Everyone is welcome. Please use the west parking lot and come around to the back of the school. Masks and social distancing are required (for distancing purposes, you might want to bring your own chair). You might also want to bring water. Informal attire is fine.
  • The kiddush this Shabbat, May 1, is sponsored by Pnina Levine and Alan Gold in honor of their birthdays.
  • All other New Shul events continue online. They include: Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday afternoons (5:30 pm this Friday), Havdalah (8:00 pm this Saturday night), daily text study, and weekly classes. Please contact us for the Zoom link.
  • Beginning on the second day of Shavuot, Tuesday May 18, our services will return to The New Shul building. Please contact us for more information.