The New Shul

Parshat Vay’chi

Parshat Vay’chi, which tells the story of Yaakov’s death and concludes the book of Genesis, is written in the Torah scroll beginning with a “closed” paragraph — i.e. one that begins in the middle of a line, with no white space before it. Rashi, citing an ancient midrash, said that the purpose of the closed paragraph is to teach us that, after Yaakov’s death, “the eyes and the hearts of the children of Israel were closed,” because of the enslavement that would soon overtake them.

When we anticipate adversity — even more so, when we struggle with adversity face to face — it is natural to close ourselves off, to shut our eyes and hearts. Our challenge at those times is to resist that tendency, to stay open to those around us, since we depend on them for our support. Perhaps the key is to remember they depend on our love and support as well. By keeping our hearts open for the sake of others, we allow their love to reach us too.

Even during times of adversity – or rather, especially at those times – may we remember that we are not alone.

  • 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.
  • The New Shul offers a learning service for children from 10:45 to 11:30 am on the first and third Shabbat of every month (including this Shabbat, December 18).
  • The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, December 18, will be sponsored by Sharon and Michael Klausner in honor of Sharon’s birthday.
  • 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).
  • Join us at The New Shul for our annual Coffee House on Saturday night December 25 at 7 pm.There will be lots of live music and other entertainment by our own local talent, and refreshments afterwards (food will be served outdoors due to Covid). The cost is $5 per adult at the door.