The New Shul

Parshat Nitzavim/Rosh Hashanah

Parshat Nitzavim is always read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. In it, Moshe addresses the entire community of Israel as they reaffirm their covenant with God. Moshe says to them: “You are standing here today, all of you, before YHWH your God: the heads of your tribes, your elders, your officials . . . and the stranger within your camp, from woodchopper to water-drawer.” Moshe notes that everyone is present, from the highest to the lowest. But at a deeper level, Moshe is erasing the distinction between high and low. When we stand before God, hierarchies fall away. All of us bring something irreplaceable, and hence essential to the moment.

The awareness that each of us is a unique image of God, and that therefore we are collectively diminished when any one of us is missing, is at the heart of what it means to be a spiritual community. As a community of prayer, we know that each of our voices is irreplaceable, because each one resonates in a different way. As a community of learning, we know that each one’s insights count, because no one else could have expressed those insights in exactly the same way. As a community of love and kindness, we know that each one’s actions make a difference, because each of us has the capacity to help in a unique way.

As we come together on Rosh Hashanah, and each week during the year, may we re-experience the true meaning of community.

  • 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.
  • Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday evening September 25. Our service for Erev Rosh Hashanah is on Sunday at 6 pm. Services for the two days of Rosh Hashanah, Monday and Tuesday September 26 and 27, are from 8:15 am to approximately 1 pm. The service on the first day is followed by tashlikh (the symbolic casting away of sins, at the CAP canal nearby). The service on the second day is followed by a kiddush-lunch, open to all. Complete information on our services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is available here.