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.


Do A Mitzvah for Our Community and for Yourself by Laura Lewin

OK, so I am not the most organized mom in the world.  Five years ago when my kids were 8, 9, and 11 I had "Mitzvah Day" writ...


Focus on Tikkun Olam This Passover by Moira Quinn Klein, Past President (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, April 2018)

I SO look forward to Passover and the Seder even with all the work  to clean, cook, set the table with my best, bring out th...


Mitzvah Day: A History by Sue Hummel, in consultation with Martin Multer

  Each year, on one Sunday in May, Temple Beth El congregants come together to perform mitzvot, or good deeds, throu...

March For Our Lives and Our Pesach Preparations by Rabbi Judy Schindler

Mar 28

This past Shabbat was a wakeup call. On one hand, it was a wakeup call to the painful world we have created for our kids through our indifference. Our kids have grown up in a post-Columbine world where mass-shootings have become common headlines and common realities. Whether we are longtime gun owners or whether even […]

Mitzvah Day 2018 is Coming! by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Mar 28

Mitzvah Day is rapidly approaching — it all takes place on Sunday, May 6! For our newer members, Mitzvah Day is Temple Beth El’s annual event in which we as a congregation perform acts of gemilut chasadim (acts of loving kindness) and tikkun olam (repair of the world) throughout Shalom Park and the greater community. […]

Passover Resources from TBE Clergy

Mar 28

Beginning Friday night, Jews all over the world will gather in their homes, surrounded by family and friends. We will sit down at tables large and small, filled to overflowing with food and plastic frogs, and speak, or read, or sing the familiar words: “Mah nishtana halailah hazeh mikol haleilot? – Why is this night […]

Creating Worship Experiences at Temple Beth El by Rabbi Asher Knight

Mar 22

As a rabbi, I believe that the communal prayer experience begins with the individual, and the potential for individual spiritual growth and transformation within community. I also believe that experience of the transcendent is strengthened by a sense of being rooted in community. The stronger our community relates with each other, the more transcendent the […]

Elements of Judaism: Walking Jewishly Through Life by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, March 2018)

Mar 01

Being a Jewish clergy person is a pretty fantastic job. On almost any given day, I will encounter lots of different people, each experiencing a variety of different things, some of them incredibly happy and others tragically sad, some of them unique and exciting and others still, rather mundane. While it is difficult sometimes to […]

Bashert – Being Right Where You Belong by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

Feb 27

Sometimes one finds themselves in exactly the right place at the right time. Jewish custom might designate circumstances like these as bashert – meant to be. Some of us see such blessings as mere coincidence and others ascribe deeper meaning to moments that simply feel bashert, as an affirmation of the mystery of creation. I […]

Queen for a Day! by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Feb 22

When I was a little girl, my parents went to a Purim ball at Temple Israel and came home with the most beautifully decorated crowns I had ever seen. They weren’t the tiara kind. They were the big, royal, shiny gold kind, covered in jewels with a royal blue velvet poof on the inside. A […]