The New Shul

Parshat Lekh L’kha

In this week’s parashah, Lekh L’kha, God commands Avraham: “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you can. . . thus shall be your descendants.”

On the surface, God’s promise is that Avraham’s descendants will be as numerous as the stars. But Rabbi Meir Shapira of Lublin interpreted the promise in a different way. He understood the word “thus” to refer not to the number of the stars but to Avraham’s attempt to count them.Just as Avraham attempts to do what seems impossible (i.e. count the stars), his descendants will attempt to do what seems impossible as well. They will not limit their aspirations to what they think they can achieve. Rather, they will understand that what they can achieve depends on the greatness of their aspirations.

Rabbi Meir Shapira’s understanding of God’s promise is the opposite of what it seems to be on the surface. A people’s greatness is measured not by its numbers but by its sense of mission, not by what is outwardly quantifiable but by what lies deeper inside. May we be true heirs to Avraham by cultivating the inner strengths that matter most.

  • Candle lighting this Friday evening November 4 is at 5:14 pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 6:10 pm.
  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 to about 11:45 am, followed by a kiddush-lunch open to all. This Shabbat, November 5, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Althea Levine in honor of the 70th anniversary of her bat mitzvah.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm. Kabbalat Shabbat is on Fridays at 6 pm (usually at our rabbis’ home – please contact us for directions).