• Drash Schedule August 2020 -  Date Parsha Drash Aug 1 Va-ethanan (Shabbat Nachamu) Marc Flitter Aug 8 Ekev Malka Rappaport Aug 15 Re’eh R. Daniel Lev Aug 22 Shoftim Jay Friedheim  
  • Aloha ʻOe - Gale Warshawsky Sings This is the direct link to the Rotary International Conference’s House of Friendship for the International Fellowship of Rotary Musicians (IFRM), booth 124. Gale was asked by Lee Denlinger, the Chair of this fellowship, to sing and play her ʻukulele for Aloha ʻOe. There are other performances at this direct link from […]
  • Mazie Cohen’s Son - By Kay Lorraine I don’t know if this is true everywhere, but in the Jewish community in Columbus, Ohio, you are never really anybody on your own – you are just somebody’s kid. Even if you are 60 years old, you’re invariably introduced as Saul Irving’s son, David. Keeping this in mind, some of you […]
  • Hope Is Who We Are in Hawaiʻi: Perhaps Zoom Gets Us There for Now - By Sandra Z. Armstrong As I walked along the Hawaiian shore today, it occurred to me that the world is a bigger, brighter place like the ocean that surrounds us. The crystal-clear water gently swirls around our feet as we walk along the water’s edge. Suddenly, I heard a voice speaking loudly. As I looked […]
  • Shelach Lecha - A Drash by Fran Margulies Rabbi Goldfarb used to say, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Makes sense. Sometimes, the ground shifts under you; you lose your balance and you can’t steady yourself. I think our world is at such a moment. Covid-19 has shaken our ground. How to keep […]
  • Drash: Naso 14 Sivan 5780 - By Naomi Olstein With thanks to Rabbi Sacks for his inspiration and to Rabbi Goldfarb for his education. Once again, I am amazed and impressed by how the weekly parsha of the Torah is relevant to current events. For example, the Israelites are preparing for a census as are we in the United States this […]
  • Sof Leaders Chosen for 2020-2021 - The annual meeting was held on May 28, 2020. The Congregations’ Officers, Board Members and Committee Chairs were chosen for the 2020-2021 Congregational year. All of these people will hold office through June 1, 2021. Officers: President Sandra Armstrong Vice President Morris Rabinko Treasurer Robert Littman Recording Secretary Margie Walkover Corresponding Sec. Donald Armstrong Board […]
  • Honey and Poi: Sof History Project - By Dr. Mathew Sgan Honey and Poi – Sof Maʻarav History Books   Two books, courtesy of the Sof History Project. Honey and Poi provides a history of Sof Maʻarav from its founding in 1971 until today. The Sof Maʻarav History Project Appendix offers additional information and details gleaned from further research. To purchase copies: […]
  • From Rabbi Rosalind Glazer - A Letter to Sof Ma’arav I’ve thought of you often while sheltering in place and I dearly hope you have been well. From my home in Jerusalem, I marvel at the inextricable bond between our hearts across 13 time zones and thousands of miles. I am inspired by your shul’s founders in choosing the phrase […]
  • Just Being There - By Sandra Z. Armstrong Sometimes you can’t do enough to help another person in distress—whether it is a family member, friend, neighbor, or stranger. Fretful thoughts intrude. Should I do more? Why do my efforts seem so futile? Will my help be enough? Stop worrying. All you have to do is be there. We seem […]
  • Some Amusement - Two Images from Les Rosenthal From Sid Goldstein From Dina Yoshimi
  • The Nistar Study and Practice Circle - By Reb Daniel Lev Reb Wolfe Kitzes was having a panic attack under his tallit as he waited for his Rebbe, the founder of the 18th-Century mystical revival movement in Poland, the BESHT (Baal Shem Tov), to begin to blow Shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Wolfe was earlier tasked by the BESHT to call out the […]
  • Stress Baking - By Peter Fritz Looking for a distraction that provides comfort? Try baking bread. When you are making bread, the only thing you are thinking about is your bread. You are not thinking about anything else. If you want to try baking bread, but lack confidence, try this no knead bread from Mark Bittman of the […]
  • 20 Years A Jew: One Convert’s Observations in Seven Installments - By Athena DeRasmo Installment 7 – “And then there was Israel…” Haifa. I sat in a tiny office in a government building – bleak, institutional, and oppressive. Like most Israeli government buildings, it could have been a set for a cold war film. Across from me sat a clerk – a stern, Russian-Israeli female about […]
  • Snowbirds: Les and Pat Rosenthal’s Off-Island Time - Off-Island Sof’ers Snowbirds: Les and Pat Rosenthal’s Off-Island Time By Les and Pat Rosenthal A before pic from our delightful seders May 5th Pat and I flew to visit my nephew in Nashville and our great niece and nephew. From there we went up to Bowling Green, Ky and the National Corvette Museum where we […]
  • Stories & Legends - By Reb Daniel Lev Little Ya’akov’s Healing It was so sad. Just after Ya’akov’s tenth birthday, he was stricken with an illness that left him with two paralyzed legs. His Chassidic parents were saddened even more after months of visiting doctors who only shook their heads. There was no known cure in Ya’akov’s 19th-century world. […]
  • Jews and Social Distancing - By Dr. Daniel Meckler, New York University The email a few weeks ago that let me know that I was under a nine-day quarantine induced one of the deeper stomach-drops of my admittedly cushy life. It galled me that, of all the high schools in all the towns in all the world, the coronavirus walked […]
  • Quarantine Humor - How Are You Holding Up During Quarantine? By Don Armstrong Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other half will come out with a drinking problem. I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I’m cracking […]
  • Synergy: - Finding the biology in the book of Genesis By Malka Rappaport David and Malka have started a podcast on the intersection of biology and our beloved Torah text! Western society seems to suffer from the idea that science and religion are in perpetual conflict. While there has, historically, been bitter conflict between Christianity and science, […]
  • Books By Sof’ers - Memories of a Neurosurgeon: Book Review of Judith’s Pavilion: The Haunting Memories of a Neurosurgeon, by Dr. Marc Flitter BY MAT SGAN As I sat on the UU Church bench, Marc went to his car and emerged with a copy of the subject book, which he handed to me. I was delighted to receive it. […]
  • 5780 Passover Seders: Tradition and Technology - By Mathew Sgan Isolation during Passover was on my mind. Then the heavens opened up and it was Dayenu all over again. First, Dina gave me the directions to tune in to her seder (Hawaii time 7:00 PM.) To celebrate with Dina and David is something special. Dayenu. Then, my daughter called from Boston with […]
  • Some Pesach Humor - A British Jew is waiting in line to be knighted by the Queen. He is to kneel in front of her and recite a sentence in Latin when she taps him on the shoulders with her sword. However, when his turn comes, he panics in the excitement of the moment and forgets the Latin. Then, […]
  • Seder Photos - Photos from the Warshawsky Zoom Seder
  • Parshat Tzav: A Drash - By Sid Goldstein “Such are the rituals of the burnt offering, the meal offering, the guilt offering, the offering of ordination and the sacrifice of well-being which the Lord charged Moses on Mount Sinai.” –  Leviticus 8.37 One of the delights of the Book of Leviticus is the constant barrage of sacrificial details: dead animals, […]
  • Purim Party - A Lasting Memory On Monday March 9, about 100 people gathered at Robert and Bernice Littman’s home for the Sof Purim Party. There was fun and food for all. Multiple people read from the Megillah, most notably Dina Yoshimi, the woman of 1,000 voices. As we all face lockdown from the Covid-19 Virus, the warm […]
  • Book Club Schedule - Carolann Biederman Date Title Author 1/9/20 My Mother’s Sabbath Days Chaim Grade 3/15/20 The Collector’s Apprentice B.A..Shapiro 4/19/20 5 weeks – A Walker in the City Alfred Kazin 6/28/20 10 weeks – The Song of the Jade Lily Kirsty Manning 8/9/20 6 weeks – Black, White, and Jewish Rebecca Walker 9/13/20 5 weeks – Among […]
  • An Embarrassment to Jews the World Over - by Kay Lorraine I am an embarrassment to Jews the world over. I know this to be true, because a cantor in Chicago made this statement in my presence, loudly, to a large group of Jewish women. Let me explain: It was Spring of 1978, and the sisterhood at my shul on the near north […]
  • Congregation Sof Ma’arav went from the Party Shul to the Zoomers: A Heartfelt Message to You - Information from Sof President Sandra Z. Armstrong My biggest fear this morning was not the coronavirus but how was Congregation Sof Ma’arav going to keep our reputation going as a learning experience, a welcoming place, a week Torah reading experience, a lively Shacharit and Musaf service, an opportunity to explore our feelings while we listen […]
  • The Song of the Jade Lily: A Book Review - BY SID GOLDSTEIN The novel, The Song of the Jade Lily, by Kirsty Manning deals with the little-known subject of the lives of Jewish refugees in Shanghai China during world War II. It is based on the historical fact that the Chinese issued over 30,000 visas to Austrian Jews in 1937 and 1938. The Chinese […]
  • T”U B’Shevat Seder at Sof: Learning as We Go - BY DINA YOSHIMI Each year shortly after we enter the month of Shevat, the e-call for contributions to the T”U B’Shevat seder goes out. It’s the annual sign-up ritual when Sofers send in their top 3 choices for a contribution to the seder, and then receive a response directing them which item to bring, and […]
  • What Does It Mean to Be Jewish in Hawaiʻi? - BY MAT SGAN AND ALEX GOLUB Published in Journeys, the Publication of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism Reprinted by Permission When most of us imagine centers of American Jewish life, we are more likely to think of Manhattan or Los Angeles than the middle of the Pacific Ocean. So for us, and the other members […]
  • Twelve Tribes Artwork: in Honor of the 60th Anniversary of Temple Emanu-El’s Sanctuary - Text, Images, and Artwork by Alice Flitter In 2018, as hurricane Lane threatened Hawaiʻi, Temple Emanu-El removed the jalousie windows from their sanctuary and boarded up the 12 openings. When my husband, Marc, and I saw that raw plywood, in December of that year, I thought of Chagall’s stained-glass windows that we have visited in […]
  • Sof Services Move Online – No Physical Services 3/21, 3/28 and 4/4 - Letter from Congregation Sof Ma’arav President Sandra Z. Armstrong Aloha Everyone, Sometimes we have to sit back and reflect on all the good that we have been given and all the good that we have been doing. This is one of those times. Siddur Sim Shalom in the Musaf Amidah for Shabbat says: “May your […]
  • Reading Torah at Sof - Reading Torah at Sof By Michelle Schneider My Hebrew education began when my nonobservant parents sent me, at my request, to Sunday School for four years, culminating in my Bat Mitzvah. Until I discovered Sof, however, I basically attended synagogue on holidays only.  Now I’m immersed in Saturday services, and, having drashed and led several […]
  • Recipes - By Peter Fritz Hallaq (Persian Charoset) Looking for a change from the apple, walnut and cinnamon charoset? Try hallaq, Persian charoset. Hallaq symbolizes the Jewish Exodus from Egypt and highlights some of the sweet and warm flavors from Iran such as raisins, dates and pomegranates. A wide variety of nuts is also used throughout Persian […]
  • My Conversion: My Birthday Present to Myself - Kay Lorraine November 24th was my birthday, but it was also the anniversary of my conversion to Judaism. Fifty-two years ago, on my 21st birthday, I went to the mikveh as my birthday present to myself. My conversion was an interesting journey that took two-and-a-half years to complete. I was 18 years old and had a newborn […]
  • Crosses and Kaddish: How a Jewish Convert Mourns a Catholic Grandmother - Athena DeRasmo  I was not baptized or raised Catholic; but my precious grandmother Marie surely was – old school Portuguese, Roman Catholic. However, when I was growing up, I did not see much evidence of her practicing her religion. It was the 60s & 70s. Time Magazine asked, “Is God Dead?” People were putting aside […]
  • Hanukkah Recipe for Potato Latkes - Yoellah Yuhudah Ingredients One pound of potatoes One small onion One large egg Kosher salt, cayenne pepper ½ cup olive, or fill skillet halfway Accompaniments Sour cream Apple sauce Prepare:  Pre heat oven to 200º oil pan or use baking sheet Make large bowl of ice-cold water, fill halfway Grate potato, poke large holes in […]
  • Hanukkah Humor - A Jewish Zebra On the Seventh Night of Hanukkah
  • Jewish Holidays with Sof Ma’arav - Sof Hanukkah Party 2019 On Saturday, December 28, Sof held its annual Hanukkah Party. The soiree was held at the Littmans’ spacious temporary home. The Rockin’ Ruah band, led by Rabbi Ken Aronowitz, with side men Morris Rabinko, Reb Daniel Lev and Don Armstrong serenaded the happy crowd. Scores of menorahs were lit, and mass […]
  • Book Club Anniversary - Sof Maʻarav Book Club The Sof Ma’arav book club is celebrating its 14th anniversary. During that time, members have met several times a year to discuss important works by Jewish authors and about Jewish life. Listed below are the books enjoyed by book club members over the past 14 years. The Chosen by Chaim Potok […]
  • Toledo: The Tale of Two Synagogues - By Kay Lorraine After the expulsion of the Jews at the end of the 15th century, eight of Toledo’s ten synagogues and its five Talmudic schools were destroyed. The two remaining synagogues in Toledo are no longer used for religious purposes but are open for educational purposes. And the difference between the two is dramatic. The first […]
  • The Last Jews in Grenada - by Kay Lorraine In August and September of this year, my husband and I rented a car and traveled throughout Spain, soaking up the culture (and some fine food). I knew, of course, about the Spanish Inquisition but I was so naïve, I didn’t realize how widespread the consequences of it are still being felt […]
  • Sof History: Merle Fishlowitz - By Mat Sgan We called former Sof President Merle Fishlowitz in doing research for our book Honey and Poi: The Origins and Development of Congregation Sof Ma’arav in Honolulu Hawaiʻi. He responded with deep conviction to questions about his relationship to Sof. After leaving Hawaiʻi, Merle felt so strongly about his Sof relationship that he […]
  • Jewish Community Services (JCS) 21st Birthday Celebration – November 17, 2019 -
  • Quotes from Sof - Sof Maʻarav evokes strong emotion from its membership. Here are some quotes that show how our members feel. Gayle Goodman Sof Ma’arav is like being part of a dance where we all come together, like a beautiful symphony where the parts come together to make an inspiring and uplifting whole. Celia Diamond Wish I could […]
  • To Seek Life: Upon My Mother’s Yahrzeit, I Remember - By Sandra Z. Armstrong I was born Sandra Zimmerman, with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) – a hole in my heart. For some born with a VSD, the hole closes naturally. Mine did not. In 1922, Dora Moness Shapiro established Deborah Heart and Lung Center with the motto “There is no price on life.” The […]
  • Holy Cow! – Parsha Chukat - By Naomi Olstein While parsha Chukat deals with many topics, it begins with parah adumah, the red heifer. It is the most enigmatic mitzvah in all of Torah. More than a mitzvah, it is chukat haTorah – Law of the Torah. If a person comes in contact with a human corpse, she or he must […]
  • Mazal Tov! – Amira’s Wedding - By Marlene Booth Let me set the stage. Our daughter Amira wanted to get married at Raananah, a very small Jewish  bungalow colony, originally Labor-Zionist, in New York state, in which Avi’s family spent time every summer since the late 1930s. Raananah, the Hebrew word for “young, tender, fresh,” was founded by idealistic Jewish immigrants […]
  • Peter Fritz: Challah Man - By Arnie Warshawsky On Sunday, June 2, 2019, I learned a tiny bit about the challenges and satisfaction of baking challah. With seven other hardy souls, I attended the second showing of “Peter Fritz: Challah Man.” We were graciously hosted by Temple Emanu-El, which had a kitchen sufficiently large to handle the nine of us. […]
  • Marv Black: A Profile - By Fran Margulies Behind the gentle Marv Black we meet on Shabbat mornings hides a former fierce warrior. I visited Marv recently, and he proudly pulled from under his bed a formidable collection of “edged weapons,” as he called them. They range from short lethal knives to long graceful Samurai swords. Slowly hoisting each one […]
  • An Ocean of Knowledge - By Sandra M. Z. Armstrong The ocean was calm today. Waves gently rolled back to meet those coming forward. How much are our lives like this? We often look backwards into our past for the strength to move forward again. The ocean changes minute to minute like our lives. We are forever adjusting. When the […]
  • The Meaning of Community - By Sid Goldstein The dictionary defines community as “‘a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” I never understood how important that fellowship was until I got hurt. The unfortunate accident that I had visiting Las Vegas to see my family has made me understand what it […]
  • Pesach Memories - By Sof Members Passover Memories by Mat Sgan We invited a mixed multitude to one Seder and were able to do the four questions in 12 languages including Hawaiian and Pidgin. A hostess at one of the Seders made some terrible matzoh ball soup. One teenager referred to the main ingredient as, “The balls of […]
  • Sof Celebrates Pesach – 5779! - By Arnie Warshawsky Passover is a time of family and friends. Passover is a time of remembering an ancient redemption when Israelites were freed from slavery to meet their collective and individual destinies. As such, Passover also is a symbol of hope for the world’s oppressed. This year, Sof Ma’arav congregants gathered in many venues […]
  • Levinson-Krupp Library - Levinson-Krupp Library This library was dedicated 50 years ago to the memory of Rebecca Lewin Levinson and Brannette Mayer Krupp by Justice and Mrs. Bernard Levinson. Over the years the library fell into disrepair, but starting in 2005 was redesigned and updated to accommodate the Rabbi Morris Goldfarb Collection. The library contains books of Jewish […]
  • From the Levinson-Krupp Library - (Hours: 9 am-noon, Monday & Thursday or upon request) During this cold weather it’s always fun to curl up with a good book. We have lots of new books in the library just waiting to be read. Here is a sampling: 327.12 FRI   SPIES OF NO COUNTRY by Matti Friedman. Award winning writer Matti Friedman’s […]
  • Challah Class Fun - Taught by Peter Fritz In this course, we make and bake eight challahs. The first part consists of mixing the ingredients to make the bread dough (approximately one hour). While the dough is rising, we discuss baking temperatures and different braiding techniques (approximately one hour). After the ball is risen, the dough will be divided […]
  • Sof Celebrates Purim - Photographs by Arnie Warshawsky Purim is one of Judaism’s most raucous holidays. We celebrate beautiful Esther thwarting evil Haman’s plans by reading the Megillah. We make loud noises when Haman’s name is mentioned. The holiday helps us to celebrate our history, our heritage, and our triumph. Nowhere is this truer than at Congregation Sof Ma’arav. […]
  • The Book of Esther - By Robert J. Littman The Book of Esther has been called one of the strange books of the Bible. There is no reference to God in the entire book. The story is one of the few books of the Bible set outside of Israel. It reads like a folk story and has nothing very Jewish […]
  • The State of The Shul Remarks - By Sandra Z. Armstrong Aloha Everyone, As your newly elected president, I present this list of Sof endeavors and “shout outs” since our annual meeting on May 25, 2018. It has been a very busy year to be president because Sof Ma’arav is a shul that never sleeps! I continue to be amazed and forever […]
  • Contribute to the Monthly Sof Newsletter - Do you have news, stories, comments, or suggestions? Contact Sid Goldstein, Communications Chair.   We are seeking stories and news from ALL members of the Congregation. Please send any item you’d like to see in the April Newsletter to Sid Goldstein by March 25.   Thanks to everyone who contributed to previous newsletters.
  • Amos Oz: A Remembrance - By Sid Goldstein On December 28, 2108, Amos Oz died. This is something I will never forget. Just the day before, I had picked up a copy of his last novel Judas and began to read it for the Sof Book Club. Amos Oz was, without question, the most famous and talented writer that Israel […]
  • From the Levinson-Krupp Library - Contributed by the Levinson-Krupp Library (Hours: 9 am-noon, Monday & Thursday or upon request) January 2019 Live every moment of 2019 and feel blessed to have the opportunity to see another day in paradise. Happy 2019 from all three of us! Among the new books in our Library are: FIC WOL  THE FEMALE PERSUASION  by Meg Wolitzer 232.9 FRE  WHEN […]
  • Hanukkah In Egypt - By Robert Littman Jews have lived in Egypt in great numbers since the 3rd century BC. In the aftermath of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence and the Suez crisis in 1956, most of Egypt’s Jews left. Today less than 20 Jews, all elderly, remain in Egypt. The 9th century Ben Ezra Synagogue, the synagogue […]
  • From the Sof History Project - By Mat Sgan Newly elected president Peter Freeman (1991–1992) took a page out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook with a “Morning in Sof” optimistic approach. Beginning with a warm letter to fellow congregants, Freeman invited all to participate fully, and included a committee sign-up sheet. His new-day attitude extended to creating a summer/fall bulletin outlining exciting […]
  • Aloha, Lynley - by Sid Goldstein   Lynley Shimat Lys has accepted the position of Webmaster & Newsletter Compiler for Sof Ma’arav.   Lynley is a Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She is working toward a degree in Comparative Literature. She has a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature (Hebrew, Russian, and English). She […]
  • Jewish Community Services Annual Dinner Honors Marlene Booth and Avi Soifer - by Carolann Biederman      On Sunday, November 4, 2018, Jewish Community Services celebrated its twentieth year of service to the community with 150 guests at the Pacific Club. The Annual Dinner honored the 2018 Volunteers of the Year — ten amazing people, representing six different congregations.   Avi Soifer and Marlene Booth were the […]
  • Prayers for Pittsburgh Service – President Sandra Armstrong’s Opening Speech - November 1st, 2018 – The Prayers for Pittsburgh Service was held at Temple Emanu-El with approximately 300 in attendance including representatives of congregations across Oahu. It was described as “A gathering for members of the Oahu Jewish and other faith communities to pray for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and their […]
  • Frances Maltin’s Contribution to Major League Baseball - Contributed by Mat Sgan, part of the Sof Ma’arav History Project As Mat Sgan explains: Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947. Before that, and to prepare him and the world for that momentous occurrence, he played for the 1946 Triple A Montreal Royals baseball team. They were befriended by […]
  • A Tribute to Donald Armstrong - Contributed by Mat Sgan Congregation Sof Ma’arav is hosting a Roast and Toast celebration as an expression of thanks to Don Armstrong. This event will take place on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Kuapa Isle Club House, 156 Opihikao Way, Hawaii Kai, 96825. There will be enough food and […]
  • Talmud Shiurim at Sof Maarav - Contributed by Gregg Kinkley An hour before we start our prayers, (Invoking names like Abe and Sara), Earnest study of the layers Of our tradition, through Gemara, Commences ‘round the hour of nine; A guided tour of divine And often thought-provoking mirth: Come learn how study’s wisdom’s birth! For well over a decade now, a […]
  • “Madame President” Sandra Armstrong Chosen by the Board -   Sandra Z. Armstrong is the new President of Sof Ma’arav. She was selected as part of the slate that was approved by the Congregation Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting on May 25. There are several changes to the officers and the Board for the 2018-2019 term. Morris Rabinko has been selected as […]