The New Shul

Parshat Toldot

In this week’s parashah, Toldot, the Torah challenges us to look with brutal honesty at human nature, particularly the nature of our heroes. Though Yaakov is the hero of the story, he is also a deeply flawed human being who steals his brother’s birthright by deception.

But, as clear-eyed as the Torah is about human faults, it is equally uncompromising in its insistence that human beings have the capacity to grow. Yaakov’s story does not end here. Twenty years later, as Yaakov wrestles with an angel, he will gain another blessing. But he will do it openly and honestly, in a fair fight.

Having faith in our ability to grow makes it both possible and necessary to face our own faults with the same honesty that the Torah shows. Without that faith in our potential to do better, it would be too painful to look squarely at our shortcomings. With that faith, we have no excuse not to.

On Shabbat we celebrate the grandeur of being human, of being images of God. May our pride  in what we already are help us to become still more, so that — like Yaakov — we can bring new blessings into this world.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 am to about 11:45 am. In accordance with the latest Covid guidance from the CDC, we require all those over the age of 2 to wear a mask while in our building. Our kiddush-lunch is outdoors, so masks are not required.
  • Childcare is available on Shabbat mornings from 10 am to noon.
  • This Shabbat, November 6, we wlll celebrate the bat mitzvah of Ora Ross, daughter of Michael and Shaindel Ross. The kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by the Ross family.
  • Weekday minyanim at The New Shul are on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm, and on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. Kabbalat Shabbat is on Friday evenings at 6 pm at our rabbis’ home (please contact us for directions).