The New Shul

Parshat Noah

Why was Noah, of all people, chosen to renew the world after the flood? The Torah does not explain, but Rabbi Simha Zissel of Kelem found a hint in Noah’s name. “Noah” comes from the Hebrew root that means to “rest.” What was special about Noah, according to Rabbi Simha Zissel, was that, in a tumultuous, chaotic world, Noah alone knew how to stop and rest.

We might think of Shabbat as a self-indulgence. When the world is in such turmoil, is it not selfish to tune out the noise and seek peace within ourselves one day per week? But Rabbi Simha Zissel reminds us that Shabbat has a moral dimension. Stress and turmoil can distort our values. It can throw off our perspective, making it hard to remember what is really important. When that happens, we are of little use to those around us, or to the world.

So, when we step back from the noise around us every seventh day, we do so not only for our own sake, but for the sake of the people that we care about, and the larger world. It is our ability to slow down and regain our balance once a week, as Noah did, that makes it possible for us too — even if only in a small way — to play a role in the renewal of creation.

  • Candle lighting this Friday evening October 20, is at 5:30 pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 6:24 pm.
  • The New Shul’s Shabbat morning service is from 9 am to about 11:45 am, followed by a kiddush-lunch open to all. This Shabbat, October 21, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Ross Wilkoff and Pam Kaplan in memory of Ross’s mother Glenna Wilkoff.
  • Minyanim during the week are on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm at the shul. Kabbalat Shabbbat is on Friday evenings at 6 pm at the Kanter-Wasserman home (please contact us for directions).
  • On Shabbat morning October 28, we will celebrate the bat mitzvah of Brynn Gottlieb, daughter of Jolene Kuty and Dan Gottlieb.
  • Rabbi Wasserman’s class: Dare to Daven: Exploring Jewish Prayer, continues on Shabbat afternoon November 4, at 5 pm. The class meets at the Kanter/Wasserman home.