Bereshith 5767-2006

"Pardes--the Four Levels of Understanding Torah" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The Talmud in Chagiga 14b, tells the story of four great scholars, Ben Azai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiva,…

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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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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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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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Noah 5767-2006

"The Curse of Ham; The Blessing of Shem and Yafet" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Those who harbor possible doubts about the Divine authorship of the Torah had better come up with some…

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Lech Lecha 5767-2006

"The Souls That Were Made in Haran" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Lech Lecha, the dynamic Abram (his name had not yet been changed to Abraham), enters upon the biblical scene…

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Vayeishev 5767-2006

"What's in a Name?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we are privileged to encounter one of the great epic narratives of world literature, the saga…

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Simchat Torah 5767-2006

"The Evolving Holiday" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The festival of Simchat Torah is one of the most joyous of the Jewish calendar. In Israel, following the conclusion of the festival of…

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Vayeitzei 5767-2006

"Dissing G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we learn of Jacob's flight from his brother Esau, his arrival penniless at the home of his uncle Laban,…

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Vayishlach 5767-2006

"The Lonely Patriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, the memorable confrontation between Jacob and Esau takes place, a confrontation that is…

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Vayigash 5767-2006

"Two of the Seventy Souls" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. The old patriarch, Jacob, departs from Beersheba to…

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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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Mikeitz 5767-2006

"A Jew Rises to Power" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, we learn of Joseph's successful interpretation of Pharaoh's dream and his appointment to the…

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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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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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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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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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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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