The New Shul

Parshat Vayeshev

In the first words of this week’s parashah, Vayeshev, the Torah announces: “This is the lineage of Yaakov. . . ” But then, instead of giving us what it promised, a full picture of Yaakov’s geneology, the Torah shifts abruptly to the story of Yaakov’s son Yosef: “Yosef was tending the flocks. . .”

According to Rabbi Rabbi Menahem Mendel of Riminov, the Torah is actually not changing the subject at all. Yaakov’s lineage is summed up in his son Yosef, specifically in Yosef’s name.

Yosef comes from the Hebrew root that means “to add” or “increase.” The Torah’s point, according to Rabbi Menahem Mendel, is that all true heirs of Yaakov are Yosef. To be an authentic Jew is to grow and evolve, never to stand still. Yaakov’s legacy for all of us is constantly to reach higher.

Hanukah, which begins on Sunday night, teaches the same value. To make the miracle known, to celebrate God’s presence in a world that often feels very dark, is to increase light day by day. That is what it means to be a true heir of Yaakov.

  • Candle lighting this Friday evening December 16 is at 5:03 pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 6:03 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, December 17, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Sharon and Michael Klausner in honor of Sharon’s birthday.
  • 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).
  • Hanukah begins on Sunday night December 18. The New Shul will host a Hanukah party for families (in partnership with PJ Library) on Monday December 19 at 6:15 pm. Contact for more information, or to rsvp.
  • Join us for our annual Hanukah Coffee House on Saturday night December 24 at 7:30 pm. There will be lots of live entertainment by our own local talent, and home-made latkes and other refreshments. The cost is $5 per adult at the door (children under 13 free).
  • On Shabbat morning, December 31, we will celebrate the bar mitzvah of Evan Dworsky, son of David and Jennifer Dworsky.
  • On Shabbat morning, January 14, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Gaby Dashe, daughter of Alex and CiCi Dashe.