The New Shul

Parshat M’tzora/Shabbat Hagadol

The Shabbat before Pesah, Shabbat Hagadol (the Great Shabbat), takes its name from the final words of the haftarah, in which the prophet Malakhi announces in God’s name: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great [hagadol] and fearsome day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents.”

Malakhi wanted us to understand that, before God can enter our world, we must be at peace with one another. And peace begins within our families. Perhaps that is why the Seder is such a deeply family-centered ritual. On the night when we remember how God broke through into our world and liberated us, we try to be worthy of receiving God’s presence again. We do so, first of all, by drawing close as families — both as natural families and as “voluntary families,” communities of choice. We bind ourselves together by taking time to listen to each other’s questions, to hear each others’ voices, and to respond in openness and sensitivity. In that way we try to make our circles of relationships fitting vessels to receive God’s liberating presence.

May this Pesah — and the Shabbat of spiritual preparation that precedes it — be a time of peace and freedom for all of 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, April 9, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Stacy Andrews in memory of her brother Scott Albert.
  • 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).
  • Services for the first two days of Pesah, Saturday and Sunday mornings April 16 and 17, will begin at 9 am. The kiddush lunch on the first day of Pesah, April 16, will be sponsored by the Kanter-Wasserman family in memory of Jeannette Kanter.
  • Services for the last two days of Pesah, Friday and Saturday April 22 and 23, will also begin at 9 am.