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.


Relationships first, attachment to details later

Today for our daily Elul thought we look at T'rumah, Exodus 25:1 - 27:19 - God's instructions on donations and construction r...


Remembering 9/11 and Thinking About Elul

Today we look at Mishpatim, Exodus 21:1 - 24:18 - lots of laws, the promise of a guardian that will go before the Israelites ...


Sharing – Worth Doing After Kindergarten Too

Today we look at Yitro, Exodus 18:1 - 20:23 - Moses' father-in-law Jethro arrives at the Israelite camp, advises Moses, conve...

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 […]

Noticing the Normal and Finding the Miraculous

Sep 05

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 death of Joseph to the beginning of the bringing of the plagues and the conflict between Moses and Pharaoh over the freeing of the Hebrew slaves. This includes the dramatic […]

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 […]