Va’etchanan 5763-2003

"Why the Sh'ma?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This past Shabbat is known as "Shabbat Chazon." Its name derives from the opening words of the Haftorah (the prophetic message) of Isaiah,…

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Lech Lecha 5764-2003

"A Scriptural Assessment of Lot" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald By paying close attention to specific words and verses in the Bible, we can often learn much concerning the Bible's…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5763-2003

"Choosing Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There's something very distinctive about the arrival of the Jewish New Year. Whenever the Jewish High Holiday season draws near there's always…

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Devarim 5763-2003

"The Gentle Reproof" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week, we begin reading the fifth book of the Torah, known as Deuteronomy, or Devarim in Hebrew. The book of Devarim is also called…

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Yitro 5763-2003

"'Proving G-d's Existence" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we read the first of the two versions of the "Ten Commandments" that…

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Terumah 5763-2003

"The Mishkan and the Sanctity of the Jewish Home" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week's parasha, we begin a series of five weekly Torah portions that deal with the building of the…

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Tetzaveh 5763-2003

"The Primacy of Jewish Education" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week's parasha, parashat Terumah, we read of the appeal for donations to build the Tabernacle--the portable…

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Behar 5763-2003

"Understanding Hebrew and Canaanite Servitude" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Behar, we learn of the laws of the Eved Ivri and the Eved K'na'ani,…

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Re’eh 5763-2003

"The Elusive Blessing of  'Peace'" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's Torah portion, Parashat Re'eh, contains some of the most exalted verses in the entire Torah concerning G-d's…

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Bereshith 5764-2003

"The Book of Humankind" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald More than 2000 years ago, the rabbis of the Babylonian Jewish community divided the Torah into 54 portions, and began the practice of…

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Shoftim 5763-2003

"Astrology, Witchcraft and Spiritualism in Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Shoftim, the Torah describes the vital role of the prophet. Moses…

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Kee Teitzei 5763-2003

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Child Rearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Teizei, we learn of a seemingly horrific Torah law, the statute of…

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Kee Tavo 5763-2003

"Watch out for Laban, he's more dangerous than Pharaoh!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Tavo is an "ominous" parasha. It is one of two Torah portions that features the…

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Vayeitzei 5764-2003

"In Praise of Humility" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we find Jacob fleeing from the death threats of his brother, Esau. As the sun sets in…

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Eikev 5763-2003

"Is There Truth to the Notion of Spiritual Accountability?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Eikev, contains the well-known second paragraph of the…

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Vayishlach 5764-2003

"Who Was Esau?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, reaches a crescendo with the dramatic encounter between Jacob and Esau. Jacob has been away from…

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Vayeishev 5764-2003

"The Two Sides of Joseph" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There are few characters in world literature who are as dynamic, charismatic, successful and as enigmatic as the patriarch Joseph.…

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Vayigash 5764-2003

"The Secret of Jewish Survival in Exile?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayigash, the exciting story of Joseph and his brothers draws to a conclusion. Joseph instructs his…

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Tzav 5763-2003

"What We Learn from the Jewish 'Caste System'" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Tzav, continues the Torah's description of the sacrificial rite, and…

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Bo 5763-2003

"The Subtle Secrets of the 10 Plagues" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Bo, describes the last three of the ten plagues. While the listing of the Ten…

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Tazria 5763-2003

"Tzaraat--The Spiritual Dermatological Disease" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Tazria, as well as parashat Metzorah that follows, are among the most…

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Metzorah 5763-2003

"The Nidah--Affirming the Value of the Sanctity of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Towards the end of this week's parasha, parashat Metzorah, we learn the laws of the Zav, the Baal…

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B’shalach 5763-2003

"Bringing G-d Home" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat B'shalach, contains many historic and dramatic moments. The narrative describes the departure of the…

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Acharei Mot 5763-2003

"The Jewish Method of Achieving Moral Perfection" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Acharei Mot, we read one of the resounding exhortations of the…

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Kedoshim 5763-2003

"Giving Proper Reproof" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kedoshim, we encounter the well-known Biblical dictum recorded in Leviticus 19:17: "Lo tis'nah…

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Mishpatim 5763-2003

"Justice! Justice!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Mishpatim, contains an abundance of laws that cover a vast array of Jewish civil and criminal…

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Kee Tisah 5763-2003

"Reverence for Learning in Jewish Tradition" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read of the fateful sin of the Jewish people with the…

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Bechukotai 5763-2003

"Ma'aser Shay'nee--The Second Tithe" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Toward the very end of this coming week's parasha, parashat Bechukotai, we learn the law of Ma'aser Shay'nee, the second…

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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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Naso 5763-2003

"The Hypocrite as Exemplar" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter a very strange order in the topics of the text. The Torah in Numbers…

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