How Many Tribes?

The challenge to name the number of tribes of Israel would fall into the category of  “easy” by trivia fans. However, the term “The Twelve Tribes of Israel” can be enumerated in…

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How Many Tribes?

The challenge to name the number of tribes of Israel would fall into the category of  “easy” by trivia fans. However, the term “The Twelve Tribes of Israel” can be enumerated in…

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Equal Tribes

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel descended from one of Jacob’s twelve sons, and each had distinct qualities for which they were renowned. The tribe of Issachar, for instance, was known…

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Know Your Tribes

Read this week’s Torah portion of Vayeitzei on Shabbat and delve into the story of the birth of several of the Tribes of Israel.

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The Flags of the Tribes

On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress resolved that: “the flag of the 13 United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: That the union be thirteen stars, white…

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Bamidbar 5771-2011

“Good Neighbors and Bad Neighbors” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, we learn of the configuration of the camps of Israel that surrounded the…

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Bamidbar 5769-2009

"Bringing Order to the Camp of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, the people of Israel are instructed to build a camp in the wilderness. G-d…

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Matot-Masei 5761-2001

"Setting Our Priorities Straight" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming Shabbat, the double parashiot Matot and Masei will be read in synagogues throughout the world. In parashat…

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Matot-Masei 5775-2015

“The Noble Calling of the Levites: Serving as an Exemplar for the Jewish People” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Masei, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Matot-Masei,…

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Matot-Masei 5780-2020

“Setting Our Priorities Straight” (updated and revised from Parashiot Matot-Masei 5761-2001) This coming Shabbat, the double parashiot, Matot and Masei, will be read in synagogues…

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Bamidbar 5765-2005

"Lessons from Traveling in the Wilderness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, the people of Israel are counted, the structure of the tribal…

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Naso 5771-2011

"Finding Variety in the Seemingly Identical" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, is the longest parasha of the Torah. It is usually read on the Shabbat that…

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Tetzaveh 5774-2014

“The Choshen–the Breastplate of the High Priest” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, focuses primarily on the priestly vestments, the garments worn by the…

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Pinchas 5768-2008

"The Zealotry of Pinchas as Seen Through the Midrash" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Last week's parasha, parashat Balak, closed with the story of Pinchas' zealotry. As we read in that…

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Vayeishev 5779-2018

“The Mystical Aspects of the Sale of Joseph” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the sale of Joseph by his brothers, which resulted…

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Vayishlach 5781-2020

“The Proper and Improper use of Zealotry” (updated and revised from Vayishlach 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we encounter in…

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Vayishlach 5761-2000

"The Proper and Improper use of Zealotry" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we encounter, in chapter 34, a very painful and distressing story…

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Bamidbar 5763-2003

"The Role of the Levites, and the Service of Yeshiva students in the Israeli Army" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week we begin to study the fourth book of the Torah, Sefer Bamidbar,…

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Bamidbar 5761-2001

"Continuity Through Family Structure" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidmar, G-d instructs Moshe to count the Jewish people. Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki…

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Matot-Masei 5767-2007

"Vindicated Before G-d and Before People" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the first of this week's double parashiot, parashat Matot, we read about the tribes of Reuben, Gad (and,…

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Devarim 5773-2013

"The Price of Disunity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, the fifth book of the Bible, Deuteronomy, begins. Parashat Devarim is always read on…

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Bamidbar 5780-2020

"Jewish Continuity through Family Structure” (Updated and revised from Bamidbar 5761-2001) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, G-d instructs Moses to…

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Tetzaveh 5769-2009

"The Urim and Tumim--The Mysterious Priestly Accessory" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, is concerned primarily with the vestments of the priests.…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5767-2007

"The Tribe of Dan Traveled Last" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Beha'alotecha, we read of the first journey in the wilderness that the people of Israel took…

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Vayechi 5775-2014

“Jacob Remembers Rachel” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, Jacob, who has been living in Egypt for seventeen years, makes his son, Joseph, swear that…

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Vayechi 5776-2015

“Jacob Maintains a Bitter Grudge Against Simeon and Levi” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, Jacob blesses his twelve sons prior to his death. Even…

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Jews Ruled Where?

Before the Arabian Peninsula became the stronghold of Islam, it was home to a collage of tribal nomads and fierce warriors, most of whom were Arabs. There were, however, several famous…

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Pinchas 5770-2010

"The Colorful Biography of Pinchas" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the end of last week's parasha, we learned that a prominent couple performed a lewd act in public in order to directly…

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The Tribe of Benjamin

As ancestors of the Tribes of Israel, the lives and personalities of each of the twelve sons of Jacob significantly impacted the history and the behavior of the tribe members who…

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Origin of the “Jew”ish Species

If the nation that was redeemed from Egyptian bondage and experienced revelation at Sinai was known as the Israelites, or the Children of Israel, why are they now called “Jews”? After…

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