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.


Shleimut/Wholeness by Sara Markovits

Sitting in front of my boss, reflecting on my past school year, the truth rang forth: Sara, I think that this really shook...


Shleimut/Wholeness by Philip Schreibman

"Wherever you go, there you are." It's no accident I show up wherever I go, right? Whether in Target parking lots, the hal...


Shleimut/Wholeness by Rabbi Morton Kaplan

Often, the anticipation of an event brings more pleasure and meaning than the event itself. Our expectations are more than th...

Am I whole? Am I at peace? by Rabbi David Powers

Sep 08

If a person loses a limb can they be whole? If so, what about two limbs? If one cannot be whole with a lost limb, what about with a broken limb? Or a broken heart? Or a fractured soul?  Although grateful that I have all my limbs and, apart from tonsils, all my organs, like […]

Perfect the Way You Are, And A Little Broken Too by Rabbi Asher Knight

Sep 07

The TaNaKh (Hebrew Bible) is filled with Jewish leaders who lived their lives with various types of physical disabilities and emotional struggles. Isaac suffers from blindness. Jacob walks with a limp. Moses delivers the book of Deuteronomy, including this week’s Torah portion, with a stutter. Naomi, Saul, and Jonah struggle with depression. Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel […]

Help the Hurricane Harvey Recovery by Rabbi Asher Knight

Aug 31

As the full magnitude of the devastation created by Hurricane Harvey becomes clear, we are working with the Union for Reform Judaism and other partners to mobilize support for all who have been impacted by the powerful storm. Right now, the desire to help is outpacing the mechanisms. In the coming weeks and months, the […]

R’fuah/Healing by Anonymous

Aug 30

My healing began with a knock on the bedroom door. Many knocks, actually. A few soft taps at bedtime one evening, then the next night, and the next. That gentle rhythm has signaled the end of the day for most of my adult life. If you ask me in the morning if I’ve consciously heard […]

R’fuah/Healing by Allen Sherman

Aug 30

I have always prided myself in not letting a few aches and pains slow me down. I spend as much time as possible with kids. My own two need me (almost as much as I need them), as do the kids I coach at little league (almost I much as I need them), and there’s […]

R’fuah/Healing by Courtney Rosenthal

Aug 30

My days are surrounded by sounds. The rhythmic beeping of machines, the puff-and-blow of ventilators, and the urgent ringing of alarms. I am a trauma nurse, and I have the privilege of helping people fight for their lives. I live in the liminal space between death and recovery. My days are surrounded by sounds: squeaking […]

R’fuah/Healing by Michael Norman

Aug 30

The scene: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 1966-67. I was senior pediatric resident on the cancer unit, run by a well known but aggressive and abrasive oncologist whose chemotherapy saved some children, but at a terrible cost. Maran was 9 or 10, and her body was failing all treatment with terrible side effects. Her parents, supportive […]