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 Jewish Take on a Superstorm

The world is not fair – while Abraham seems to argue for fairness in the treatment of Sodom and Gemorrah, still Lot needs t...


Temple Beth El Women Support Women of the Wall

TBE Women stand united with Women of the Wall and for pluralism in Judaism, in Israel and everywhere! [caption id="attachmen...


When everyone is human, everything is personal

Torah-Inspired, Reflection of The Day: Today we look at B'midbar, Numbers 1:1 - 4:20 - the opening of the Book of Numbers, t...

Realistic Theology

Oct 23

Torah-Inspired, Reflection of The Day: Today we look at B’chukotai, Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34 – two chapters, almost, with the first focused on the outcomes of following or not following God’s commandments, and the second on the rules about vows, concluding with the last verse of Leviticus: These are the commandments that Adonai commanded Moses […]

Avoid idolatry and avoid materialism

Oct 21

Torah-Inspired, Reflection of The Day: Today we look at B’har, Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2 – rules of economic fairness – forgiveness of debts; as well as rules about allowing land to rest on the seventh year. The text sums up the intent of these laws in the final lines which remind the Israelites that they […]

Everyone Gets Equal Treatment

Oct 17

Torah-Inspired, Reflection of The Day…it’s back, after the High Holy Day hiatus. Today we look at Emor, Leviticus 21:1 – 24:23 – rules about relationships, for priests, including an ostensibly offensive rule for the priesthood, quoted here: Lev. 21:17 Speak to Aaron, saying: A man of your seed, throughout their generations, who has in him […]

Celebrating Vulnerability on Sukkot

Oct 02

From Sukkot Worship on Monday, October 11, 2012 – 15 Tishrei 5772 Our pilgrimage festivals seem to follow a natural pattern: Passover – celebrate freedom Shavuot – celebrate the giving of Torah Sukkot – if we were to complete the pattern, we should be celebrating the arrival in Israel, the completion of our journey. Instead, […]

Yizkor Message – Community Memorial Service – September 23, 2012

Sep 28

The Place Where We are Absolutely Right – Yehuda Amichai From the place where we are absolutely right flowers will never grow in the spring. The place where we are absolutely right is trampled, hardened like a courtyard. However doubts and loves make the world rise like dough like a molehill, like a plow. And […]

Our Names – Rabbi Jonathan’s Yom Kippur Sermon

Sep 27

Yom Kippur Morning 5773 – Wednesday, September 27, 2012 Temple Beth El, Charlotte, North Carolina G’mar Chatimah Tovah – may we all be inscribed for a good New Year. Leah got a rough deal. Her father snuck her under the veil and married her off to Jacob, who was supposed to marry her sister. Leah […]

Aim for holiness in the New Year

Sep 25

Torah-Inspired, Days of Awe Reflection of The Day… Today we look at K’doshim, Leviticus 19:1 – 20:27 – the holiness code, a list of behaviors that Jews identify as fulfilling the verse that appears early in this reading: Lev. 19:2 Speak to the entire community of the Israelites, and say to them: Holy are you […]