Torah Buzz Blog

The TBE Blog is the space where Temple Beth El’s Leadership Team members reflect on relevant topics that are most meaningful to us. Here you will find musings on everything from prayer to politics, music to mysticism and history to current day life. From our iPads, smartphones, and laptops to yours, these are the things that inspire us, keep us up at night, and fuel our own Jewish journeys.

09/21/2018

And You Shall Teach Them Diligently to Your Children: What I Didn’t Understand…Until Now by Cantor Andrew Bernard

This summer I spent eight weeks teaching water safety to a bunch of preschoolers at the Downtown Seattle YMCA. This free prog...

09/19/2018

Choose “We” (Yom Kippur 5779) by Rabbi Dusty Klass

With gratitude to Rabbi Leah Citrin for walking through this writing process with me every year, and to Rabbis Miriam Farber ...

09/18/2018

Choosing to Live While Standing in the Shadow of Death (Kol Nidrei 5779) by Rabbi Asher Knight

Video of this sermon One day a group of American tourists traveling in Eastern Europe, went to visit the Chofetz Chaim. (In ...

Emunah: Rebuilding Faith in An Era of “In Nothing We Trust” (Rosh HaShanah 5779) by Rabbi Asher Knight

Sep 11

Video of this sermon On December 14th, 2012 Noah Pozner and 25 other victims were murdered at Sandy Hook elementary school. Noah was a sweet, vivacious, six-year-old Jewish boy. We remember this horrifying news day well. In the years since, conspiracy groups have claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Noah’s parents, Lenny […]

On Clenched Fists and Open Hands (Erev Rosh HaShanah 5779) by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Sep 11

With gratitude to Rabbis Asher Knight, Leah Citrin, Jay Asher LeVine, Miriam Farber Wajnberg, and Susan Landau, Cantor Mary Thomas, and Jeff Trost – for your edits, conversations, and thought partnership. Video of this sermon Every December, my dad visited my elementary school classto light Chanukah candles and teach everyone how to spin the dreidel. […]

Finding Home by Janette Schwartz

Sep 09

As far back as I can remember, I’ve had faith. Faith in the love of my parents, faith that tomorrow brings opportunity, and faith that everything changes. I’ve always had faith that there was a God above and surrounding me. A spirit that was certainly greater than myself or those I trusted. For me, faith […]

Finding My Faith Again by Ethan Shore

Sep 09

My life is in transition. I have gone from being a Software Engineer, working for the same company for 20 years, to being “43 years old and unemployed.” During the first seventy-five days of my ninety-day notice, I have freaked out with various levels of intensity. My mind swirls with the chaos of not knowing […]

Faith in the Future by Amy Krakovitz Montoni

Sep 07

We all hear it at least once daily: young people in America are lazy, selfish, dependent upon their parents, unwilling to take risks, unambitious. Stories galore abound about parents who fight their children’s battles in academics, complete their job application forms, or even go to employment interviews with them! But these stories are likely told […]

Faith and Trust: I Can’t Have One Without the Other by Peter Blair

Sep 07

Each year, Elul seems to bring challenges and decisions that have tremendous impact on my life. The practice of searching my spirit and soul for inspiration is a serious one for me and I am more introspective than usual in this month. Trust and faith have been an integral part of my past year and […]

The High Holy Days: Self Compassion in the Uncertainty of Certainty by Rabbi Asher Knight (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, September 2018)

Sep 06

Years ago, during a visit to the Cairo museum, I stared into the face of Ramses II. Mummified and frozen in time, his body delicately preserved since the time of his death in 1213 BCE. Tradition tells us that Ramses enslaved and tried to destroy our people. My family was surprised (as were a few […]