March 2019

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 5:39pm -- Rabbi Joshua Hoffman

This past Sunday through Tuesday, approximately 75 Valley Beth Shalom members travelled to Washington D.C. to join the gathering of some 18,000 pro-US/Israel partnership advocates at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference. It was awesome! We learned together, celebrated together, and proudly expressed our appreciation and steadfast commitment together.  We heard from the country’s most influential leadership, including top representatives of the U.S. Congress and the Israeli Knesset, and dignitaries from countries as far as Romania, Honduras, and Great Britain.

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Tue, 03/19/2019 - 11:49am -- Community News

Welcome to Purim! The official “party” on the Jewish holiday calendar.  Each year, we gather in our costumes and share this incredible story of wild characters in an ancient land,  celebrating in the strangeness of a holiday where the audience is encouraged to raucously verbalize their disdain for the evil villain and gleefully cheer for the victorious heroes. In telling this story, we choose different themes to recreate a tale that evolves throughout history through a modern lens. This year, VBS will be telling the story of Purim through the light pink shades of a 60’s hippie face as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock. But what does Woodstock have to do with Purim?

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Wed, 03/13/2019 - 9:44am -- Cantor Phil Baron

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Woodstock Festival, so we could hardly pass up the opportunity to celebrate this landmark occasion with our own Woodshlock Purim, next Wednesday, March 20 at 7:00 pm.  Our Purim schpiel will feature songs played at Woodstock in 1969, and other psychedelic, far-out, and terminally groovy tunes of the era.  Chris Hardin and his band will be here “turning it up to eleven” along with some larynx-shredding vocals by our talented singers. Please dress in your 60s gear, or if you can’t dig up anything Woodstock-appropriate, feel free to come by and shop in my closet!  Actually, at the real Woodstock clothing wasn’t all that important (if you know what I mean...).

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Fri, 03/08/2019 - 9:04am -- Community News

We Jews can be a needy people.  We kvetch, we argue, we want – but we are simply human.  As psychologist Abraham Maslow laid out, there are five different levels of innate human needs: physiological, safety and security, belongingness, esteem and respect, and self-actualization. The first two needs – physiological (food, air, expression of love)  and safety and security – are basic and are requirements for our well-being and survival.  The last three needs – belongingness, esteem and respect, and self-actualization – are what brings us purpose, meaning and satisfaction.

I believe that Valley Beth Shalom is an answer to every single one of Maslow’s needs.

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Wed, 03/06/2019 - 1:54pm -- Rabbi Noah Farkas

As a rabbi, I have the honor to work closely with people experiencing homelessness. One of the advocates that I know, let’s call her Tanya, tells me that the worst part of her time being homeless was her alienation and loneliness. She was ashamed of her situation and felt she let down others in her life.  When she sat day-after-day on the streets, she felt she lived with an invisible wall between her and the rest of the world. It was like she was in solitary confinement right there on the street corner. No one would look at her or speak to her. said she would go weeks without ever hearing someone call her name.

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