April 2019

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 11:25am -- Member Spotlight

It should come as no surprise that two people raised in families that surrounded them with Yiddishkeit would choose Valley Beth Shalom as their synagogue.  So a little over five years ago, when Amanda and Brett Marz moved to Encino, that’s exactly what they did.

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Tue, 04/16/2019 - 8:56am -- Rabbi Joshua Hoffman

Someone, like my Uncle Mike, will fondly pronounce at the Seder with a snicker in his voice, “We were slaves, now we’re free. Let’s eat!” After all, it is Passover in an instant, in even less than 140 characters. What’s all this extra talk about matzah, bitter herbs, plagues, and a song about what would have been enough? “If God brought us to Mt. Sinai in the desert and didn’t bring us to the Promised Land, Dayenu - it would have been enough!” Really?! Well, we do get carried away.

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Tue, 04/09/2019 - 2:38pm -- Rabbi Ed Feinstein

This is dangerous religion. Taken seriously it changes everything -- the way we work, the way we play, the way we spend money, the way we vote, the way we dream. Having known the life of the slave -- brutalized, humiliated, dehumanized -- and having tasted the sweetness of liberation, how can we return to business as usual? How can we complain about freeway traffic or neglect to cuddle our children or forget to check in with our elders? How can we walk obliviously by a beggar on the street or listen placidly as some politician offers simplistic solutions to complex societal problems? Slavery and liberation radically re-shaped us.

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Wed, 04/03/2019 - 11:52am -- Rabbi Noah Farkas

Life blooms in an unending eruption of breath and color. At the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, there are little bacteria that cling to the vents in the earth’s crust. Scraping the edge of space in the stratopause there are tiny little fungi that float around. There is a pulse for life in every place where it can exist - it emerges into existence. Life is eruption. Life erupts...

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