The New Shul

Parshat Bo

This week’s parashah, Bo, tells the story of the final plagues in Egypt, including the plague of darkness. The Torah tells us that the darkness was so extreme that “a man could not see his brother. . . and no one could get up from where s/he was.”

Rabbi Yitzhak Meir of Ger interpreted those words not just as a description of how dark it was in Egypt, but as an explanation of what made it so dark to begin with. What makes the world a dark place? It is our failure to empathize with those around us, to see our brothers and our sisters. Moreover, when we fail to see the humanity of those around us, we cannot get up from where we are. We lose the ability to learn and grow.

In other words, our growth as individuals is not a solitary activity. We grow — we get up from where we are — by recognizing the image of God in those around us. We find our true selves in our commitment to others.

May our concern for one another help us all to rise higher.

  • 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.
  • Children are always welcome at The New Shul. We offer a learning service specifically for them on the second and third Shabbat of every month, from 10:45 to 11:30 am (including this Shabbat, January 8).
  • The kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, January 8, will be sponsored by Philip Sheinbein and Ora Zutler.
  • 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).