The New Shul

Parshat B’ha’alotkha

This week’s parashah, B’ha’alotkha, begins with God’s instructions about how to light the lamps of the menorah, which symbolized God’s presence in the world. God commands Moshe to say to Aaron:  “When you light [literally ‘raise up’] the lamps. . . “
Why does the Torah use the word “raise up” to refer to the lighting of the lamps?  According to Rashi, it is because we light an oil lamp by applying fire to the wick until the fuel within it rises up and makes the flame self-sustaining.
Rabbi Pinhas Mendel of Peltz interpreted Rashi’s comment as a lesson about mitzvot in general.  At their best, acts of love and worship rise up from the heart, as if of their own accord.  But often, we need others to light the flame in us, to draw out our spiritual potential. That is the role of a sacred community – to remind us that we all have the capacity to bring God’s light into the world, and in that way to raise us up.

May our community of Torah help draw out the love and light within each one of us.

  • This Shabbat morning, May 29, our service will return to The New Shul for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The service will be from 9 am to about 11:45 am.
  • In keeping with CDC guidance, we must ask that all those who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 wear a mask while in the shul, to protect themselves and other unvaccinated people. For others, masks are optional.
  • The kiddush this Shabbat, May 29, is sponsored by Gary and Shana Gold.
  • Please note that this will be our last weekly e-message until August 12. Shabbat morning services will continue at The New Shul throughout the summer.