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.


The Power of Our Congregation by Judy Seldin-Cohen

Lessons from TBE’s Action on Affordable Housing That Can Inspire Us Today In April 2010, the Temple Beth El Board passed...


PERSPECTIVE: reflections on turning 65 by Cantor Andrew Bernard

Many a day as I’m stretching on the pool deck getting ready for my swim, I tell one of my lifeguard friends, “Don’t get...


The Fault in our Bubbles by Rabbi Dusty Klass (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, February 2018)

For me, Christmas has never been about Chinese and a movie – it has been about family and food, watching It’s a Wonderful...

Purim – Tradition, Innovation, Experimentation by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Feb 01

Judaism is all about tradition. We do what we do because our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so on and so forth did it at one point in time. Traditions may also become stale or lose meaning. Why do we ALWAYS do what we do? Sometimes we know, but more often than not, we do what […]

Adult Education at Temple Beth El by Rabbi Asher Knight

Jan 30

At Temple Beth El, our Jewish learning helps to create sacred connections inspired by Jewish wisdom. Temple Beth El has been proud of our strong adult Jewish Education offerings. From our “Pathways to Jewish Learning and Living,” to Adult Hebrew, and Anshei Mitzvah, to South Park and Uptown Talmud, to scholar-in-residences, to S.P.I.C.E. and Senior […]

Cultivating A Prayer and Meditation Practice by Rabbi Asher Knight

Jan 25

Prayer means something different to each of us.  And in each stage and moment in our lives, we may need prayer differently. Recently, our high school youth group, LIBERTY, welcomed over two-hundred teenagers from around the southeast to Temple Beth El. As we prayed and sang our Shabbat evening service, the voices of the teenagers […]

It’s a Learning Process by Dr. Laura Bernstein, Executive Director

Jan 18

Plagues.  Plagues.  And more plagues. This week’s Torah portion, Bo (Exodus 10:1 – 13:16)  begins with Moses and the eighth plague of locusts. It continues through the plague of darkness and the death of the firstborn, and concludes with Pharaoh allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt. Have you ever thought about how G-d came up […]

Purim at Temple Beth El by Cantor Mary R. Thomas

Jan 11

The Book of Esther – Megillat Esteir – was likely one of the last to enter the cannon of the Hebrew Bible, as late as the late Second Temple period. The text is a rich satire of Persian culture and a dark confrontation of the insecurity of Jews in that historical moment. For Jews in […]

Social Justice and Action at Temple Beth El by Jill Blumenthal (From Charlotte Jewish News Editorial, January 2018)

Jan 03

Recently, I invited a friend to join me at a Shabbat service. He declined my invitation, explaining that at the last service he’d attended, the rabbi had referred to political events in the sermon. My friend said, “There’s too much political talk – I want my rabbis to give sermons on Torah, not the political […]

The Jewish Community Refugee Initiative (JCRI) Needs You! by Amy Lefkof

Dec 28

How many Jewish families does it take to resettle a Kurdish refugee family from Kirkuk? TBE families have been helping the Omar household, which consists of two brothers (translators for U.S. soldiers in Iraq), their wives (one of whom just received her visa in August), three young children, and a small flock of pigeons (pets). […]