The New Shul

Parshat Vayikra/Shabbat Zakhor

This Shabbat, we will begin the third book of the Torah, the book of Vayikra or Leviticus. The book begins: “God called to Moshe and spoke to him. . . “

Why does the Torah mention that God called to Moshe, when it could have gone straight to the point (as it usually does) and simply told us what God said? According to Rashi, the Torah wanted to teach us how to address each other in a more God-like way. Rashi wrote: “All communications and commandments from God were preceded by a call, which is an expression of love.”

Why is calling to a person with whom we wish to speak an expression of love? Because to call someone is to single out that person by name. It is to acknowledge that person’s uniqueness, to recognize who that person truly is.  Often, in the rush of life, we speak to people as if they were interchangable. But to take a moment to acknowledge that the person to whom we speak is an individual, unlike any other, is a great gift.  It is to grant that person his/her dignity as an image of God.  In that sense, it is an expression of love.

When we speak to one another, may we always start by recognizing who it is that we are speaking to.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 am to about 11:45 am. We require all those over the age of 2 (with a few exceptions) to wear a mask while in our building. Our kiddush-lunch is outdoors, so masks are not required. For more details on our Covid policy, please contact us.
  • This Shabbat morning, March 12, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Thea Glicksman.
  • 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).
  • Purim begins on Wednesday evening March 16. Join us at The New Shul at 7 pm for our megillah reading and shpiel (they will be zoomed as well – contact us for the link). On the morning of Purim, Thursday March 17, join us at the shul at 8 am for a service and a second reading of the megillah
  • Please note that there will be no e-message next Thursday, March 17. The next e-message will be on Thursday March 24.