The New Shul

Parshat Toldot

In this week’s parashah, Toldot, the Torah tells the story of how Yitzhak and his household searched for water in the desert. “The servants of Yitzhak were digging in a a dry river bed [nahal], and they found there a source of living water.”

For the Hasidic masters, that elusive water represents God’s presence, which restores us to life when our spirits have gone dry. At times when we feel spiritually parched, we all must search for that water.

But where should we start looking? Rabbi Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl, the author of Me’or Einayim, took a hint from the word “nahal — dry river bed”.  He understood its three Hebrew letters, N-H-L, as an acronym for “Nafsheinu Hikta Ladonai — My soul longs for the Lord” (Psalm 33:20). In other words, the best place to begin our search for water is the place of our own longing. Our thirst for deeper meaning is evidence that, deep down, we believe that it exists. To take our spiritual longing seriously is the first step toward fulfilling it, in that it means trusting in the wisdom of the heart, believing in its power to point us toward the truth.

This Shabbat, and every Shabbat, may we help each other in our search for renewal.

  • Candle lighting this Friday evening November 17, is at 5:05 pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 6:03 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, November 18, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Aimee Pajic and Marlene Maier.
  • 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).
  • Join us on Sunday morning November 19 at 10 am – and bring your children and grandchildren – as we make Hanukah cards for lone soldiers in the Israel Defense Force (who have no family in Israel). The cards will be delivered by the Lone Soldier Project.
  • Rabbi Wasserman’s class: Dare to Daven: Exploring Jewish Prayer, continues on Shabbat afternoon December 2, at 4:30 pm. The class meets at the Kanter/Wasserman home.
  • Join us for our annual Hanukah Coffee House on Saturday night December 9 at 7:30 pm. The cost is $5 per adult at the door.