The New Shul

Parshat B’shalah/Shabbat Shirah

In this week’s parashah, B’shalah, the story of our liberation from Egypt reaches its climactic moment, the dividing of the sea. The Torah tells us that we responded to that experience with a song of joy and thanksgiving.

According to the S’fat Emet, the essence of liberation is the freeing of our deepest desires. We had always had within us a longing to reach up to God, but we had never known it until the moment when we sang that song. Singing the song was not a response to our liberation. It was our liberation.

We often think that slavery means not getting what we want. But at a deeper level, it means not knowing what we want. We spend so much time and energy pursuing things that cannot make us happy, and that in itself is a form of enslavement. To free ourselves is to remember what we really want in life, what really is worth striving for.

May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, be a time of liberation for all of us.

  • 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 kiddush-lunch this Shabbat, January 15, will be sponsored by Ruth Silon, in honor of her son Sam Rosen, who is visiting from Boston.
  • 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).