The New Shul

Parshat Sh’mini/Shabbat Parah

This week’s parashah, Sh’mini, teaches: “Al t’shaktsu et nafshoteikhem – Do not degrade yourselves by contact with abominable things.” The immediate context is a ritual one. The Torah is warning the priests not to let themselves become ritually impure. But taken more broadly, this is a good piece of ethical advice for all of us. Maintaining our integrity means steering clear of morally compromising situations, keeping our distance from unkind and insensitive people, morally repugnant ideas, harmful speech.

The point is not that we should run away from the evils of the world. To the contrary, we need to combat them. But in order to fight back against the things that pollute our ethical environment, we need to keep ourselves from getting too accustomed to them. Human beings can get used to almost anything. So we should take care to make our home with those who challenge us to be better. 

May our community always be a place that nourishes the best in us.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 am to about 11:45 am. Now that Maricopa County is in the “Green Zone” (low Covid risk), masks are optional during our services.
  • This Shabbat morning, March 26, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Myrna Weinstein.
  • 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).
  • On Shabbat morning, April 2, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Sol and Shai Brodsky, The kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by the Brodsky family.