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Simchat Torah Revealed!

10/16/2019 05:00:43 PM

Oct16

Simchat Torah Revealed!
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Clergy Corner, October 16, 2019

The Jewish calendar is bunched up during this month with Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Shemini Atzeret, and finally Simchat Torah. That is a lot of time in synagogue! While we're always happy to see our community to share the rhythms of time together, there is a kind of fatigue that comes by the end of the holidays. But the last...Read more...

Share! Share! Share! - Parshat Ki Tavo

09/18/2019 02:50:22 PM

Sep18

Share! Share! Share!
Parshat Ki Tavo
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Clergy Corner, September 18, 2019

As parents, we try to learn from the vast wisdom of others and to teach our children to behave with care and compassion.  I remember the years, not too long ago, when we helped our young children learn the word ‘share.' Fearing that their developing maturity would prompt long, scream-filled battles with...Read more...

Healing and Hope - In Israel and Around the World

05/29/2019 02:00:00 AM

May29

Healing and Hope - In Israel and Around the World
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Clergy Corner, May 29, 2019

B.D.S., warring factions in the Knesset, the Nation-State Bill, Gaza, Muslims in Congress, antisemitism in Europe and America, hate speech on US college campuses, and on and on.  It's difficult to hear anything else beyond the shouts and murmurs about the State of Israel and the fate of Jews in the world....Read more...

Leaving Egypt

04/16/2019 10:56:15 AM

Apr16

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

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?...Read more...

I Have Been Changed For Good!

03/27/2019 07:39:37 PM

Mar27

I Have Been Changed For Good!
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Clergy Corner, March 28, 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...Read more...

The Waves of a Dream

02/28/2019 03:10:37 PM

Feb28

The Waves of a Dream
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
2.28.2019

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...Read more...

Getting to One

01/10/2019 12:23:46 PM

Jan10

Getting to One
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Parshat Bo 5779 - 1/10/19

“In the Beginning!” These epic words resonate with the vibrations of Creation.  Just like “Once Upon a Time” begins our favorite tales, these words are cosmic and universal.  More than a starting point, they situate us in a grand narrative of who we are, and maybe even foretell who we might yet become.  In our day,...Read more...

All About Friendship

10/25/2018 03:06:34 PM

Oct25

All About Friendship
Parshat Vayera 5779
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman

When was the last time you tried to define your understanding of friendship? Would you say that your definition, if you were able to come up with one, has changed over time? We think we know what a friend is or ought to be. We even think we know who are and are not our friends. But words won't ever quite adequately describe what we...Read more...

There's Nothing More Whole Than a Broken Heart - Yom Kippur 5779

09/20/2018 01:35:19 PM

Sep20

There's Nothing More Whole Than a Broken Heart
Yom Kippur 5779
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman

We celebrate a tradition that encourages us to become masters of fine souls while we stitch our broken pieces back together.

When the news broke that Leonard Cohen passed in November 2016, he had already been flown back from Los Angeles to Montreal, his childhood home, and buried according to...Read more...

The End of Ends - Rosh HaShanah 5779

09/13/2018 12:12:31 AM

Sep13

The End of Ends - Rosh HaShanah 5779
Rabbi Joshua Hoffman

In times of uncertainty, truth and confidence are found in a moral balance, if only we will listen.

Wanda Diaz Merced is an accomplished astrophysicist. Several years ago, though, she lost her sight due to an extended illness. Challenged by the rigors of her field, one that primarily uses sight to interpret the data collected from the vast universe,...Read more...

Mon, June 1 2020 9 Sivan 5780