The New Shul

Parshat Sh’mot

This week’s parashah, Sh’mot, tells the story of our enslavement in Egypt. The story begins with the rise of a new Pharoah “who knew not Yosef.”

Rashi wondered, how could any Pharoah not have heard of Yosef, who had saved Egypt from famine? Rashi explained that what the Torah really meant was that the new Pharoah acted as if he had not heard of Yosef. He chose not to remember, and that choice was the beginning of our enslavement.

Often we become our own Pharoah. We enslave ourselves by choosing not to remember what we actually know. We  forget our deepest values and priorities, and allow ourselves to be distracted by more superficial things. And when we do, we descend into Mitzrayim (Egypt),which the rabbis understood to be “the narrow place.”

It is by taking time to remember what matters most to us in life – the relationships and goals that we believe are truly worth working for – that we become free again. We call Shabbat “zeikher liy’tziyiat Mitzrayim” (a reminder of the Exodus from Egypt), because on Shabbat we step back and re-order our priorities. We remember what we already know.

May this Shabbat, and every Shabbat, be a day of liberation for us.

  • Candle lighting this Friday evening January 13 is at 5:22 pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 6:21 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, January 14, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Gaby Dashe, daughter of Alex and CiCi Dashe. The kidddush-lunch will be sponsored by Gaby’s grandparents Charles and Marilyn Dashe and Jorge and Leonilda Estrin.
  • 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 Friday evenings at 6 pm (usually at our rabbis’ home – please contact us for directions).
  • On Shabbat afternoon January 21, after kiddush, Rabbi Bob Eisen will lead a discussion on his new book The Missing Handle.
  • The annual meeting of The New Shul community will be on Sunday morning February 5. Join us for breakfast at 10 am, followed by the meeting at 10:30. All are welcome.