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Posted by Rabbi Joshua Hoffman on April 16, 2019

Leaving Egypt
Pesach 5779
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Clergy Corner, April 17, 2019

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Posted by Rabbi Ed Feinstein on April 9, 2019

Dangerous Religion
"In every generation, we must see ourselves as if we personally had come out of Egypt." (Mishna)
Rabbi Ed Feinstein
Clergy Corner, April 10, 2019

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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on April 3, 2019

Tazria: Eruption
Rabbi Noah Farkas
Clergy Corner, April 3, 2019

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Posted by Rabbi Joshua Hoffman on March 27, 2019

 

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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Posted by Community News on March 19, 2019

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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Posted by Cantor Phil Baron on March 13, 2019

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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Posted by Community News on March 8, 2019

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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Posted by Rabbi Noah Farkas on March 6, 2019

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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Posted by Rabbi Joshua Hoffman on February 28, 2019

As a child, I was fearless in the ocean. Waves would come crashing down and I would leap headlong toward them to overcome their kinetic force. There were even times that I would take a floating board and sit atop the wave as it rumbled to the shore. Nothing was more fearful, however, when I would get caught under an oncoming wave and be tossed and tumbled by the crushing force, hoping to have enough breath and enough equilibrium to restore my balance on the ocean floor before the next wave crested.  The scariest moments were when wave after wave would break and I could not readily feel any return to balance. It seemed like the unsettling force would never end.

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Posted by Keri on February 27, 2019

Disappointment can be good for kids. Here’s how parents can help them approach it. Being disappointed is a life lesson that all of us go through. The article below gives us some advice on how to help our children handle disappointment. 

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