Tzav 5767-2007

"Karayt--The Dreaded Heavenly Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Warning: This week's Dvar Torah is not for the fainthearted. In this week's parasha, parashat Tzav, the Al-mighty…

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Pinchas 5767-2007

"Rosh Chodesh, the Modest Holiday" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Pinchas opens with the Al-mighty praising Pinchas, grandson of Aaron the High Priest, for fatally stabbing Zimri,…

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Shelach 5767-2007

"The Ma'ah'peelim: Forcing Their Way Into the Promised Land" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach-Lecha, we read about the "Ma'ah'peelim," the ancient…

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Balak 5767-2007

"The Enemy Within" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most intriguing and perplexing patterns found in Scripture is the frequent emergence of evil from good and good from evil. Adam…

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Vayishlach 5768-2007

"The Birth of Benjamin, The Death of Rachel" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we read of an occasion that should have been a most joyous event in…

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Shoftim 5767-2007

"The King of Israel: The Privileged and Obligated Monarch" By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Shoftim, we read the biblical statement regarding appointing a king in Israel. The…

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Lech Lecha 5768-2007

"The Battle of the Four Kings Against the Five" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, we read about what is generally known as the "Battle of the Four…

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Chayei Sarah 5768-2007

"O Captain, My Captain" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although the name of this week's parasha is Chayei Sarah, literally, "the life of Sarah," the parasha does not really concern itself…

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Vayeishev 5768-2007

"The Seduction of Joseph" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeishev, Joseph is brought down to Egypt and sold by the Ishmaelites to Potiphar, one of…

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Vayikra 5767-2007

"Balancing Heart and Mind" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayikra, we encounter, once again, the challenging issue of animal sacrifice. Over the years, we have…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5767-2007

"The Conundrum of Childbirth" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Again, because of the calendrical nuances, this week's parashiot, Tazriah-Metzorah, are combined. While both parashiot deal…

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B’shalach 5767-2007

"I Have Been Waiting For Them" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat B'shalach, we read of the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people from the hands of Pharaoh…

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Emor 5767-2007

"Waiting Until the Eighth Day" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening portion of parashat Emor highlights the rules governing the lifestyle and comportment of the Cohanim (priests).…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5767-2007

"Reward and Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we encounter the very challenging concept of Divine reward and…

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Bamidbar 5767-2007

"The Tribe of Levi--the Master Enablers" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, we learn about the structure and formation of the Israelites in the…

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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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Korach 5767-2007

"Agonizing Over Collective Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the dramatic events that unfold with the rebellion of Korach and…

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Chukat 5767-2007

"The Excesses of Rationality" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most common issues raised when analyzing a Torah text is the question of juxtaposition: why a particular parasha…

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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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Vayeitzei 5768-2007

"How Dare You Accuse Me!" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald After working 20 years for Laban, Jacob and his wives decide that it is time to leave Laban and his family. They see no future for…

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Vayechi 5768-2007

"The Struggle Over the Birthright" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The struggle over the birthright is a recurring theme throughout the book of Genesis: Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac,…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5767-2007

"Beards and Payos" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, instructions are given regarding "kosher barbering etiquette": the…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5767-2007

"The Choosing People" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald It surely cannot be mere coincidence that parashiot Nitzavim and Vayeilech are always read in the weeks that immediately precede or…

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Toledot 5768-2007

"Esau's Loud and Bitter Cry" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, the rivalry between Esau and Jacob reaches its peak as Esau realizes that his brother…

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Shemot 5768-2007

"Who Were the Midwives?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shemot, we read that Pharaoh, king of Egypt, orders the Hebrew midwives to kill the male children as…

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Re’eh 5767-2007

"Prohibition Against Excessive Grief" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we learn of the prohibition of excessive mourning and grief for those who pass…

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Kee Teitzei 5767-2007

"Concern for the Property of Others" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Teitzei contains seventy-two mitzvot, more commandments than any other parasha in the Torah. Of the many…

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Kee Tavo 5767-2007

"Can the Promise of G-d Keep the People Holy?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Tavo is one of the two parashiot in the Torah that features the Tochacha, the terrifying…

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Eikev 5767-2007

"Swearing in G-d's name" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald It's rather fascinating to see how one single, seemingly simple verse can be interpreted so differently by our commentators. In…

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Bereshith 5768-2007

"Starting All Over--Again!" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The holidays are over. In ancient times, the farmers would by now have returned to their fields. Contemporary business people have…

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