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.


Getting Lost in the Logistics of Passover and Finding Our Way Forward by Rabbi Judy Schindler

In preparing for Passover it is so easy to get lost in the logistics - the guest list and the table settings, the matzah and ...


Why My Family Helps Levine Children’s Hospital on Mitzvah Day by Michelle Siegel

My niece Catherine was born in November 2012 with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). We...


Perpetually Seeking Freedom by Rabbi Dusty Klass (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial Apr. 2019)

Every year, a little over a month after Purim and its revelry, we gather at tables – round tables, square tables, multiple ...

Mitzvah Day is Important by Stella Traw

Apr 01

I think that Mitzvah Day is important because it gives people opportunities to help people in need. It also gives people a chance to help organizations that help people who don’t have homes, water, or food. One of those organizations is Safe Alliance. They help women and children who have to leave home to have […]

Home by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Mar 28

Home. Take a moment and imagine home. Not the home you live in right now or even the home you might dream of for the future, but – home – your childhood home. Where would you sit again, if you could choose one spot? What color are the walls? What does it smell like? What […]

Fear. Leadership. Strength. Courage. by Rabbi Asher Knight

Mar 13

Rabbi Asher Knight Congregational Meeting March 13, 2019 This past Shabbat, we finished reading the book of Exodus. Near the beginning of Exodus, God spoke to Moses at the burning bush. God told Moses to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh – the most powerful person in the world – to free his slaves […]

Celebrating Purim in a Topsy-Turvy World by Rabbi Asher Knight (Charlotte Jewish News Editorial Mar. 2019)

Mar 07

“Read me another book ……” These are the regular words of the sleepy children in my household who are negotiating just before bedtime. Stories help to shape our understanding of ourselves and root us in the narrative of the world. “Sing me another song…..” These are the regular words of the children in my household […]

The Power of Volunteering: Our lives changed because of you! by Eileen Schwartz

Mar 05

I reached out to the TBE Caring Committee (now called Hineynu) in December 2015. I was my Mom’s caregiver. I was feeling isolated, exhausted and unsure about Mom’s future health. She was 95 and I realized that I could no longer manage alone. I contacted the Caring Committee and suddenly had one or two weekly […]

About Chevrah Kadisha by Courtney Rosenthal

Mar 05

Rabbi Dusty Klass once told me that as Jews, we just “get death right.”  As someone who wrestles with considering her own mortality and the mortalities of those around her, I was hungry to experience this peace. I had only been to one Jewish funeral my entire life, and I was young and overwhelmed. I started asking […]

When God Takes Attendance, How Do You Respond? by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Feb 28

Every time I had a substitute teacher in high school, I braced for impact as soon as the poor unassuming sub took attendance. “Dustin? Dustin Klass?” “Here.” At this point, most teachers did a brief double take. The best just moved on, but some, having spent many years being tested by mischievous name-switching students, would […]