Rosner’s Torah-Talk: Parashat Vayetzeh with Rabbi Joshua Hoffman
Our guest today is Rabbi Joshua Hoffman, of the Valley Beth Shalom congregation in Encino, CA. Rabbi Hoffman was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in 2003. He also received his M.A. in Education from the American Jewish University in 1999 and his B.A. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University in 1996. Rabbi Hoffman teaches in the greater Los Angeles Jewish community, including as a lecturer in courses on Liturgy and Essential Jewish Texts at the American Jewish University, as a teacher in the Florence Melton Graduate Studies Program of the Conejo and West Valleys, and as a guest lecturer at Los Angeles Hebrew High School. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, the West Valley Rabbinic Task Force, and is currently serving (2014-2016) as the regional president for the Rabbinical Assembly, Pacific Southwest Region.
This week's Torah portion – Parashat Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:2) – features the story of Jacob's dream and Jacob's ladder, Jacob's first encounter with Rachel at the well, and his marriage with her and with her sister Leah after being cheated by their father Laban. Our discussion focuses on Jacob as an imperfect hero and on what he can teach us about dealing with our imperfections and our pursuit after perfection.
Our past discussions of Parashat Vayetzeh:
Rabbi Moshe Davis on Jacob as a moral example
Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch on Jacob’s unique form of greatness and how it manifests itself