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.

04/01/2020

Fair Driving Clinic Helps Drivers Who Can’t Afford to Pay

Getting a traffic ticket is frustrating for everyone, but for some without the ability to pay for those traffic tickets, it...

04/01/2020

Reflections on COVID-19

Friends, This is a set of three daily reflections from Seattle, written March 20–22, 2020. Seattle reported the first...

02/26/2020

A Different “Hatikvah” By Sydney Abeshaus

When my family first joined Temple Beth El in 2011, I was shy, apprehensive, and an overall introvert. Beginning religious s...

Purim and the reframing of “How are you?”

Feb 25

Last week at a conference out of town, surrounded for two days by old friends and colleagues, I was plagued by three small words: “How are you?” Over and over again the question came. And over and over again, I dodged it. But halfway through the conference, I misread the intent behind the question and […]

Singing for Joy, Singing to Celebrate

Feb 01

Like many in the early 90s, I learned the section of Torah that I read at my Bat Mitzvah from a tape that my childhood rabbi recorded for me. I remember carefully rewinding the tape with a pencil when the ribbon got a little out of whack and hoping that it would still work. How […]

From Strength to Strength – Educator and Business Manager Updates

Jan 22

Education In July of last year, Susan Jacobs, our Director of Education, announced that she will retire in June of 2020. Susan’s work ethic is unparalleled and has inspired countless Jews and members of our community. Susan is a kid whisperer, a team builder and team player. She is a role model for Jewish living […]

On Our Way to Liberation, With a Little Help From our Friends

Jan 04

Each time I get to lead t’filah with our 6th and 7th graders, I pause when we arrive at Mi Chamocha and ask: what does this prayer mark? What does it help us remember? And they respond: This prayer is about freedom! It is about the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt! They sang it when they […]

Navigating the December Dilemma

Dec 04

Nothing stirs up feelings quite like the winter holiday season. Celebrations that should be joyful can become a source of conflict. Someone recently reflected to me, “I get anxious just thinking about it. The Christmas tree in the living room was a source of tension instead of joy. We were both angry.” She asked, “Rabbi, […]

TBE Bends Toward Justice Recap

Nov 15

It was cold on the evening of Wednesday, November 13, but the Temple Beth El congregants who showed up for the “TBE Bends Toward Justice: Congregational Report Back” were warmed not just by the coffee and tea they drank but by the Community Organizing team’s presentation of the work they have been doing.  Rabbi Klass […]

Standing at the Door

Nov 04

For the past 20 years I have stood at the door of Temple Beth El Religious School to welcome our students as they enter. Admittedly, not every student walks in with a huge smile on their face. A few look less than thrilled to be there and one or two may have been coerced by […]