The New Shul

Parshat Shoftim

This week’s parashah, Shoftim, begins:  “You shall appoint judges and magistrates for yourself. . . and judge the people righteously.”  An anonymous commentor cited in Itturei Torah interpreted the passage metaphorically, as a teaching about how we grow as individuals.

He read the first clause with special emphasis on the words “for yourself,” tomean that we must judge ourselves first, starting with the recognition of our own faults. He read the second clause, “and judge the people righteously,”  to mean that, having judged ourselves first, we will naturally judge others more favorably. We will see more righteousness in them. In other words, the more responsibility we take for our own faults, the less likely we are to project those faults onto others.

During the month of Elul, we examine our lives in preparation for the Days of Awe. We try to judge ourselves from God’s perspective. One practical way to check our progress is to see if we are growing more patient toward the people around us. If we are giving others the benefit of the doubt, it probably means that we are recognizing our own faults more honestly.

May this time of self-examination draw us closer to our family, our friends, and our community.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat services are from 6 to 7 pm on Fridays, and from 9 am to noon on Saturdays. In accordance with the latest Covid guidance from the CDC, we require all those attending our services to wear a mask. Kiddush is take-out only.
  • Childcare is available on Shabbat mornings from 10 am to noon.
  • The kiddush this Shabbat, August 14, is sponsored by Al and Barbara Beitchman in honor of their 61st wedding anniversary.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm.
  • Complete information on our services for the Days of Awe is available here.
  • Please note that there will be no e-message next Thursday August 19. The message will resume on Thursday August 26.