The New Shul

Parshat B’midbar/Shavuot

According to the S’fat Emet, this Shabbat — the Shabbat before Shavuot — reminds us that the original Shavuot could not have occurred had there not been a Shabbat before it. Shabbat was a pre-requisite for the revelation at Mount Sinai, and is a pre-requisite for revelation in our own lives.

The Torah tells us that Shabbat was one of the few mitzvot that God had given us even before we reached Mount Sinai. By the time we stood at Sinai and heard the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day. . .,” we were already observing it.

Why did we need to have Shabbat in place before we reached the mountain? Because, in order to receive the Torah, we first had to learn to be at peace, to quiet the inner clamor that takes up so much of our energy. If not for Shabbat, the noise inside our heads would have drowned out God’s voice.

That is all the more true in our lives today. God addresses us in a voice deeper than a whisper, a voice deeper than language itself. The only way that we can hope to hear that voice is by first quieting ourselves. In a world of overwhelming turmoil, seeking a day of peace may seem self-indulgent and escapist. But the S’fat Emet reminds us that, if we hope to make a difference in this world, to respond to God’s call, we must first give ourselves the opportunity to hear it.

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

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 am to about 11:45 am. As long as Maricopa County remains in the “Green Zone” (low Covid risk), masks are optional during our services.
  • This Shabbat, June 4, the kiddush-lunch will be sponsored by Howard and Adrienne Polster in honor of Howard’s 80th birthday.
  • The festival of Shavuot begins this Saturday night June 4. Join us for our all-night Tikkun Leil Shavuot (Shavuot study vigil) from 9:30 pm to 4:00 am, as we prepare to receive the Torah anew. The Tikkun will be followed by a sunrise service on Sunday morning beginning at 4:00 am (please note the changed time).
  • Our service for the second day of Shavuot, Monday June 6, will be from 9 am to about 11:45 am, and will include Yizkor, the memorial prayer.
  • 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).
  • Please note that, after today, our e-messages will be on hiatus for the summer. The next e-message will be sent on August 18. Shabbat services and weekday minyanim will continue throughout the summer.
  • On Shabbat morning, July 2, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Kol and Lev Sheinbein, sons of Philip Sheinbein and Ora Zutler.
  • Please save the date:  The New Shul community will celebrate its 20th anniversary on the weekend of September 9 to 11. Watch for further information.