Blog

A Shabbat Message for Memorial Day in the time of COVID-19

Posted on May 22, 2020

Our parashah for this Shabbat, B’midbar, has extraordinary resonance for this moment in our lives. B’midbar, which means “in the wilderness,” describes the beginning of our people’s difficult journey of 40 years through the desert to the Promised Land. Along the way they encounter many challenges. They experience fear, anxiety, frustration, uncertainty, and deprivation. Yet, Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: The “If” of Chance and the “If” of Choice

Posted on May 15, 2020

A few years ago, MetLife ran a clever ad that featured an image of their iconic blimp with Snoopy and the word LIFE that highlighted the middle letters “IF.” Its tag line was, “Metlife, for the IF in LIFE.” Beyond good advertising, the ad offered sage advice. There is wisdom in being prepared for the Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Holiness Abounds

Posted on May 1, 2020

This week’s Torah reading includes the call to be holy. “You shall be holy, for I the Eternal your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:18) It is an awesome and daunting aspiration, especially because it is couched in the challenge to rise to this exalted place because God is holy. To be like God? How can this be expected Continue Reading »

Shoah U’gevurah – Holocaust and Heroism

Posted on April 21, 2020

Today is Yom HaShoah, the day established by the Knesset in April 1951 to be the official day of Holocaust remembrance for Israel and the Jewish people. In 1953 the Knesset appropriately renamed this day yom hashoah v’hag’vura, the Day of Holocaust and Heroism. The date, the 27th of Nisan, was chosen for its proximity to the date of Continue Reading »

Shabbat Message: Hope, Faith and Love are Not Cancelled; and Neither is Shabbat

Posted on April 17, 2020

This week has been very painful, as losses have mounted. Loss during this crisis has come in many forms.  First and foremost, in the tragic and devastating loss of life. Our hearts go out in sympathy to all who mourn the passing of loved ones or friends, and we pray for the souls of the Continue Reading »

Rediscovering My Jewish Self In Israel

Posted on April 7, 2020

Fate has just handed you the trip of a lifetime to a place you’ve always wanted to see, but didn’t think would ever happen, and in a way that most visitors would never experience. You tell family and friends, hoping they’ll share your happiness. In most cases, they do. But then the inevitable questions come Continue Reading »

Israeli Politics: 3 Elections, 11 months

Posted on April 7, 2020

It’s a confusing time in Israeli politics. On March 2, 2020, Israel had its third election since last April. It’s especially confusing to those of us in the United States when we hear things like, “They can’t form a government!” What does that even mean?! Our American news agencies try to explain it by using Continue Reading »

How Temple Beth-El is Coping in Our Current Environment, and Other Important Updates

Posted on April 7, 2020

Thank you to our temple staff and leadership team for their incredible efforts to keep our community moving forward. Efforts like Helping Hands, Ladles of Love and our group of dedicated Shomrim, in combination with the deployment of technology in new ways, have enabled our community to come together for worship, education and to just Continue Reading »

Pandemic Positivity: An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted on April 7, 2020

Rabbi Meir taught that we should recite 100 blessings every day. (Talmud Men. 43a) (See this list of 100 blessings offered by author Dannie Siegal: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/100-blessings/). This teaching reminds us to approach life with an attitude of gratitude and to look for the things that bring us joy, even amidst the challenges. Here we all Continue Reading »

Taking Our Youth Beyond the Synagogue Walls

Posted on April 7, 2020

Over the past two months, our teens have participated in a number of terrific travel experiences. Our TBE over night experiences are designed around Shabbat, to offer our teens the opportunity to further develop their Jewish identities through meaningful, hands-on learning and authentic Jewish experiences beyond the walls of the synagogue. Another central cornerstone of Continue Reading »