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.


Make the Present by Remembering the Past

Today we look at Bo, Exodus 10:1 - 13:16 - the conclusion of the plagues leading to the Israelites leaving Egypt and servitud...


We Make Our Own Redemption

Today we look at Va-Eira, Exodus 6:2 - 9:35 - God's instructions to Moses to free the Israelites, the description of the desc...


Noticing the Normal and Finding the Miraculous

Today we look at Shemot, Exodus 1:1 - 6:1 - the first section of the Book of Exodus. During this parashah we go from the deat...

Joseph and Forgiveness

Sep 05

Back to our parashat-ha-yom, daily Parashah, commentary heading into the High Holy Days, after a Labor Day hiatus – remember that Shabbat was the first fair labor practice ever! Today we look at Va-Yechi, Genesis 47:28 – 50:26 – the end of Jacob’s life, his blessings for his sons, his request that his remains be […]

Retell and re-count – the past can be amended

Aug 31

Today we look at Va-Yigash, Genesis 44:18 – 47:27 – the reconciliation of Joseph and his brothers, and the settlement of Jacob’s entire family in Egypt.

 In the midst of this narrative, we have an account of all of Jacob’s descendants that traveled with him to Egypt – including Dinah, the occasionally overlooked daughter of […]

Conflict and Resolution – Joseph and his brothers

Aug 30

For today, Mi-Keitz, Genesis 41:1 – 44:17 – Joseph’s dream interpretations in prison and Egypt, his ascent to influence under Pharaoh, and the first part of Joseph’s encounter with his brothers.

 As we go through the month of Elul preparing for the holidays, the story of conflict and resolution between Joseph and his brothers seems […]

Reflect on Rights in Elul

Aug 30

For today, Va-Yeishev, Genesis 37:1 – 40:23 – the beginnings of the stories of Joseph, and some other stories about Jacob’s household. The story of Tamar is here, a wife of two sons of Judah who don’t provide her offspring. When Judah shirks his obligations to her, she tricks him into doing the right thing. […]

Finding deeper meaning during Elul

Aug 28

For today, Va-Yishlach, Genesis 32:4 – 36:43 – Jacob wrestles with a divine being, reconciles with his brother Esau, the story of Dinah, and more. A strange lone verse appears here, with no introduction or follow-up: Gen. 35:22 And it was when Jacob was dwelling in that land: Reuben went and lay with Bilka, his […]

Awe on the horizon – daily parashah

Aug 27

For today, Va-Yeitzei, Genesis 28:10 – 32:3 – the first parts of Jacob’s biography. From the parashah, Genesis chapter 28: 16 Jacob awoke from his sleep and said: Why, Adonai is in this place, and I, I did not know it! 17 He was awestruck and said: How awe-inspiring is this place! This is none […]

Toldot and Shavuah Tov!

Aug 27

Shavuah Tov, a good week to all, for today Toldot, Genesis 25:19 – 28:9 – the generations of Isaac. The parashah outlines Isaac’s life and the beginnings of the disputes over the inheritance of his birthright. From the parashah: Gen. 26:18 Isaac again dug up the wells of water which had been dug in the […]