Mikeitz 5769-2008

"Measure for Measure" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In ancient civilizations, it was not uncommon for legal systems to practice what is known as Lex Talionis, an eye for an eye or measure for…

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Naso 5768-2008

"Carrying the Ark" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Naso, we learn that the completed Tabernacle was sanctified and inaugurated for its first use. In order to…

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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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Devarim 5768-2008

"Establishing the Rightful Owners of the Land" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald According to tradition, the entire book of Devarim, Deuteronomy, was spoken by Moses in the last five weeks of…

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Bo 5768-2008

"Is This What You Call Borrowing?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Bo we learn that after the ninth plague, the plague of darkness, Pharaoh has reached his wit's end, and agrees…

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Pekudei 5768-2008

"Building an Everlasting Sanctuary" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Pekudei, we are told that, at long last, all the work of the Tabernacle was completed. In…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5768-2008

"The Gift of Spiritual Potential" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In response to Moses' complaint that he cannot bear the burden of the people of Israel alone, G-d instructs Moses to select…

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Korach 5768-2008

"Datan and Abiram: The Protagonists" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the opening verse of this week's parasha, parashat Korach, we encounter the names Datan and Abiram for the first time.…

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Toledot 5769-2008

"The Blessings of a Tzaddik" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we read of Isaac's desire to bless Esau, and Rebecca's scheme to divert the blessing to…

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Vayeitzei 5769-2008

"Leah, the Fourth Matriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayeitzei, Jacob leaves Beersheba, fleeing from his brother Esau who threatened to murder him. Upon his arrival at the…

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Noah 5769-2008

"Nimrod and the Financial Meltdown" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In Genesis 10, the Torah features a long list of descendants of Shem, Cham and Yafet. It is a litany of begets and begats…

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Vayigash 5769-2008

"Deferred Punishment for the Sale of Joseph" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph dramatically reveals himself to his brothers and reconciles…

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Tazria 5768-2008

"The Odd Ritual Practices of the Metzorah!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald According to rabbinic tradition, the "tzah'ra'aht" affliction is not a bodily disease, but a physical…

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Metzorah 5768-2008

"Modesty and Humility for All" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Metzorah, we learn that the affliction of tzah'rah'aht, the disease we are told comes from…

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B’shalach 5768-2008

"Finding Meaning in the Lost Verses" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There can hardly be a more dramatic or more exciting parasha than parashat B'shalach! The parasha features the actual…

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Kedoshim 5768-2008

"Establishing a Truly Ethical Society: Honesty in Business" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kedoshim is renowned for its many revolutionary ethical pronouncements. It is surely…

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Yitro 5768-2008

"Welcoming Jethro, the Idolatrous Priest" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Yitro, we read of the arrival of Moses' father-in-law in the wilderness, where the…

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Mishpatim 5768-2008

"Showing Sensitivity to the Helpless and the Downtrodden" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 53 mitzvot that are found in parashat Mishpatim (23 positive and 30 negative) are a series…

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Terumah 5768-2008

"The Museum within the Tabernacle" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Terumah, G-d tells Moses to speak to the people of Israel and instruct them to prepare for…

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Tetzaveh 5768-2008

"Clothes Make the Person" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, we read about the priestly vestments--the clothes that the kohanim wore when they served…

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Kee Tisah 5768-2008

"Moses Shatters the Tablets" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read the dramatic story of Moses receiving the tablets of the Ten Commandments…

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Vayakhel 5768-2008

"Rochel the Riveter" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayakhel, continues the excruciatingly detailed description of the building of the Tabernacle and its…

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Bechukotai 5768-2008

"The Double-Edged Sword" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Bechukotai, is one of two parashiot of the Torah that contains extensive reproof of the Jewish people…

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Bamidbar 5768-2008

"Moses: A Spiritual Father" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the third chapter of parashat Bamidbar we are told of the progeny of Moses and Aaron and about the appointment of the Levites…

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Shelach 5768-2008

"We Were like Grasshoppers in Our Eyes" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach, Moses sends twelve representatives, one from each tribe, to scout the land…

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Chukat 5768-2008

"The Death of Aaron" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the death of Aaron, the High Priest of Israel. Numbers 20:20-29 relates that the…

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Matot 5768-2008

"Striving for Refined Speech" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Matot, we learn of the laws that govern vows and oaths, known in Hebrew as nedarim and…

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Masei 5768-2008

"Optimism: The Call of the Hour" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week's parasha, parashat Masei, the reading of the Book of Numbers is concluded. Parashat Masei opens with a…

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Emor 5768-2008

"Creed or Deed" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The two opening chapters of parashat Emor, Leviticus 21 and 22, deal with laws that pertain to the Kohanim (priests) and to safeguarding the…

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Balak 5768-2008

"The 'Mazal Tov' Conundrum" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, Balaam, the prophet to the nations, offers a series of four prophecies. The first three…

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