The New Shul

Parshat Sh’mot

The problem of tzadik v’ra lo, why the innocent suffer, is a question that all faith traditions struggle with. All religions must make some effort to explain why life seems so unfair.

But in this week’s parashah, the Torah entirely ignores that question. As it tells the story of Pharaoh’s enslavement of the Israelites and his murder of the Israelite baby boys, the Torah makes no effort to explain why any of that is happening. Instead it shows us individuals who try to do something about it. It tells the stories of the midwives, of Moses’s mother, and of Pharaoh’s daughter, all of whom defy Pharaoh in order to save lives.

Perhaps the Torah’s message is that, during dark times, “Why?” is not the most important question after all. Instead, the most pressing question is “What role can I play in the redemption of this world?”

  • Candle lighting this Friday evening January 5, is at 5:15 pm. Shabbat ends on Saturday night at 6:15 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, January 6, the kiddush-lunch is sponsored by Maty and Ida Yakoby.
  • Rabbi Wasserman’s class: Dare to Daven: Exploring Jewish Prayer, continues this Shabbat afternoon January 6 at 4:45 pm. The class meets at the Kanter/Wasserman home (please contact us for the address).
  • 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, usually at our rabbis’ home.
  • On the Shabbat of January 26-27, our guest teacher will be Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, President and CEO of the Hadar Institute in New York. Please note that Kabbalat Shabbat on January 26 will be at the shul, not at the Kanter/Wasserman home. Kabbalat Shabbat will be followed by a public Friday night dinner. The cost is $20 per adult (if you would like to register and pay online, you can do so here).
  • For general information on The New Shul, including a full schedule of events, please contact us, or visit our website,