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.


Listen closely, go forward together

Rosh HaShanah starts tonight - last daily post of 5772! May everyone have a sweet and good new year! Today we look at P'kude...


Accepting our limits allows us to go farther

Tomorrow night is Rosh HaShanah - the daily Elul thought will transform into daily thought for the High Holy Days or Days of ...


Transformation all around, if only we would see it

Today for our daily Elul thought we look at Ki Tisa, Exodus 30:11 - 34:35 - a lot happens here, not least of which is the Gol...

Dress for spiritual success, judge not

Sep 13

Today for our daily Elul thought we look at T’tzaveh, Exodus 27:20 – 30:10 – more details about things for the Mishkan, or portable Temple, the special garb for the priesthood, offering ceremonies for the ordaining of priests and their regular duties, and the description of the altar. We could sum it all up by […]

Relationships first, attachment to details later

Sep 12

Today for our daily Elul thought we look at T’rumah, Exodus 25:1 – 27:19 – God’s instructions on donations and construction regarding the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, or portable Temple space, and all of the things that go in it. In this list of directions, there remains plenty of room to improvise. While God gives Moses […]

Remembering 9/11 and Thinking About Elul

Sep 11

Today we look at Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1 – 24:18 – lots of laws, the promise of a guardian that will go before the Israelites and vanquish our enemies as we enter the Land of Israel, and the call to approach Mount Sinai. Of the many laws, here are two: Exodus 23:4 When you encounter your […]

Sharing – Worth Doing After Kindergarten Too

Sep 09

Today we look at Yitro, Exodus 18:1 – 20:23 – Moses’ father-in-law Jethro arrives at the Israelite camp, advises Moses, converts to Judaism, and then Moses receives the Ten Utterances*. Drama and special effects – this is a big reading! The people don’t get to approach close to the thunder and lightning of Mount Sinai […]

Look Before We Kvetch

Sep 08

Today we look at B’shalach, Exodus 13:17 – 17:16 – the Israelites leave Egypt, Pharaoh chases them, the Sea of Reeds splits, we celebrate our freedom en route to Mount Sinai, plus the beginning of Israelite kvetching (complaining), and manna, quail, and the Amalekites attack. People complain, oy do we complain! Even though we have […]

Make the Present by Remembering the Past

Sep 07

Today we look at Bo, Exodus 10:1 – 13:16 – the conclusion of the plagues leading to the Israelites leaving Egypt and servitude. The main theme of this parashah culminates in the practices of Passover, a holiday of remembrance. We remember in large part through dietary restrictions: Exodus 13:6 For seven days you are to […]

We Make Our Own Redemption

Sep 06

Today we look at Va-Eira, Exodus 6:2 – 9:35 – God’s instructions to Moses to free the Israelites, the description of the descendants of Israel in Egypt by name and tribe, and lots of plagues. In order to convince the Israelites that God is really God, God manipulates Pharaoh, hardening his heart which leads to […]