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.


A Prayer for Thanksgiving by Temple Beth El Clergy

The Torah describes the harvest festival of Sukkot as a time to give thanks to God for the bounty and beauty of the world. Ou...


Home by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Many people have numerous definitions for the word home. Over the years, I often asked myself, “Is home where I live or is ...


Do A Mitzvah – Turn the World Around by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

This Shabbat we will read the parsha, Chayei Sarah, the life of Sarah.  The portion begins with Sarah’s life but focuses o...

Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Nov 01

When Jeremiah the prophet preached 2600 years ago, he enjoined his fellow Jews who were exiled to Babylon to get engaged with their community, “Seek the peace of the city to which I have caused you to be in exile…for in its shalom, you shall find shalom.” (Jeremiah 29:7) The word shalom is variously translated as […]

Words of Gratitude by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Oct 30

“I offer thanks to You, ever-living Sovereign, that You have restored my soul to me in mercy: How great is Your trust.” This translation of the Modeh Ani prayer begins each of the morning services in Mishkan T’filah, the Reform Movement’s 2007 prayer book. The very first words on our lips each day are meant […]

Family – There are All Kinds and I Seem to Need Them All by Candace Naliboff, Director of Member Services

Oct 24

When my husband and I moved to Charlotte over five years ago, we knew only our daughter…we were so happy because our little family was together again, but I needed more. I was born in Hendersonville…so coming home to North Carolina after all these years meant I had many cousins that I would get to […]


Oct 19

WE CAN ALL BE SHEPHERDS:  WHAT MAKES A JEWISH LEADER?  The Torah offers abundant lessons for leadership for today.  As we turn the scroll through the opening chapters of Genesis and later into Exodus, we see how Noah, Abraham, and Moses each face the challenge of corruption in their day and respond in different ways. […]

Turn It and Turn It Again by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Oct 11

Chag Samei’ach and welcome to the last official day of the holiday season of 5778! We have made it up the mountain of Jewish time that transitions us each year from one to the next. We started this summer with Tisha B’av, the day of collective Jewish mourning. Then we went through the introspective month […]

Sukkot is a Time for Rebuilding by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Oct 03

There’s a Grey’s Anatomy episode in which the main character Meredith says something along the lines of, “when the world gets really terrible, I go down to the nursery and stare through the glass at the tiny new babies, just coming into the world.” I thought about that yesterday afternoon as I watched our religious […]

The Journey Through Grief – A Yom Kippur Yizkor Reflection by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Oct 02

Gmar chatimah tovah – may you each be sealed for a good year. It is great to come home to Temple Beth El. You are my family. Yom Kippur is about return and Yizkor is about return. This hour is about giving us time and space to return to our cherished memories of those we […]