The New Shul

Parshat Ki Tavo

In this week’s parashah, Ki Tavo, Moshe promises the children of Israel that, if they follow God’s teachings, God’s blessings “will come upon you and overtake you.”  But why would God’s blessings need to “overtake” them unless they were running away from those blessings?

The Degel Mahaneh Efrayim explains that, much of the time, that is exactly what we do. We run away from God’s most precious gifts in pursuit of things that cannot really make us happy. We chase after the wrong things. But, if we are lucky, the blessings that we ignore do not let us get away so easily. They pursue and overtake us, even though we were not wise enough to pursue them.

This season of teshuvah, culminating in the Days of Awe, is one of those gifts. Transformation and reconciliation are hard things to achieve, and we rarely seek out opportunities to do the work that they require. But the Jewish calendar does not let us get away. Each year, this season of teshuvah catches up with us. It overtakes us with the power of its message, and demands that we respond.

In answering the challenge of the Days of Awe, we achieve a kind of transformation that we rarely find the strength and wisdom to pursue on our own. So we can be grateful that, each year, that challenge pursues us.

  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 to about 11:45 am. The service is followed by a kiddush-lunch, open to all.
  • Weekday minyanim at The New Shul are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm. Kabbalat Shabbat is on Friday evenings at 6 pm, usually at our rabbis’ home (contact us for directions)
  • S’lihot is this Saturday night September 17. Join us at 8:30 pm for a screening and discussion of “The Syrian Bride” (Eran Riklis, 2004) as a text on teshuvah, followed by the S’lihot service at approximately 10:45 pm.
  • This Sunday morning, September 18 at 10:15 am, join us at the shul as we collect and package supplies for the unsheltered in our city. For a list of supplies to bring with you, please contact us.
  • Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday evening September 25. Information on our services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is available here.