Prayer Needs to Pierce Barriers

When we pray to God, we must envision our prayers as being potent enough to breach a wall.

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Musical Politicians in Victoria, B.C.

Lumley and Selim Franklin moved to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1858, during the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. The Jewish community was just starting to grow, and the first…

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Presidentially Approved

As the only territory completely under the control of the Federal Government, it is not surprising that Washington, D.C. is home to the only synagogue whose existence was enacted by an…

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Curly-Headed White Chief with One Tongue

On May 30, 1854, President Franklin Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which officially defined the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and opened up a significant part of what became…

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A Diplomat to Romania

In July 1944, it was announced that a new Liberty ship under construction was to be named for Benjamin Franklin Peixotto  (November 13, 1834 - September 18, 1890). The descendant of…

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From Deadwood to Rapid City

Images of the Wild West are filled with swinging saloon doors, dusty main streets, and small, fenced-in cemeteries. One would not then expect to find a place called Hebrew Hill in…

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A Hero of Science

Today’s Treat presents the sad, brief biography of Edward Israel (1859-1884). The son of the first Jewish family to settle in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Israel had an avid interest in science…

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A Day that will Live in Infamy

In one of the 20th century's most memorable and impactful speeches, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy,” due to the deadly…

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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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Bereshith 5776-2015

“Seth--Adam and Eve’s Little-Known Son” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bereshith, murder is introduced to the world, and the first instance of fratricide is…

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Kee Tisah 5775-2015

“Aaron, What Did This People Do To You?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we, once again, encounter the tragic saga of the Children of Israel’s…

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Balak 5778-2018

“The Contemporary Impact of the Blessings of Bilaam” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Balak, records Bilaam’s dramatic prophecies regarding the Jewish people.…

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Sensitivity to Those with Disabilities

Isaac was vision-impaired, Jacob walked with a limp and Moses had a speech impediment, not to mention actress Marlee Matlin (hearing impaired), Stevie Wonder (vision impaired) and…

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Inauguration Oil

Elected U.S. presidents are inaugurated on January 20th. But, it wasn’t always that way. The Congress of the Confederation set March 4, 1789, as the date for “commencing proceedings” of…

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“A Day that will Live in Infamy”

In one of the 20th centuries most memorable and impactful speeches, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the previous day, December 7, 1941, “A day that will live in infamy” due to…

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Evian!

Before Evian became a popular brand of natural spring water, the French resort of Evian was host to an international conference to address the mounting crisis of Jews seeking to escape…

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The Thanksgiving Synagogue Service

While Thanksgiving is most certainly an American festival of gratitude, its founders prominently articulated its religious underpinnings, which ultimately find their source in Judaism.…

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The Right and Wrong Ways of Declaring Independence

On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, officially seceding from the British Crown. This year, July 4th falls during the week of parashat…

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The Nuremberg Trials

On October 16, 1946, ten leaders of the Nazi party were executed after the first of the twelve Nuremberg Trials sentenced them to death. The trials of over 100 defendants took place in…

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Splitting the Atom

When asked to name a theoretical physicist, the first name to come to many young Americans would be “Sheldon Cooper,” the fictional lead character on the long-running hit show, “Big Bang…

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The Jewish Connection to the March of Dimes

On January 3, 1938, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was officially incorporated. The organization, which was run by Basil…

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History for Everyone

Barbara Tuchman (January 30, 1912 - February 6, 1989) never earned a doctorate in history, but the books that she authored injected new life into the layman’s study and understanding of…

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Weekend

What are you doing this weekend? Actually, most people take their weekends for granted and forget that the five day work week was a victory won by the labor movement of the early…

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Using A Live Virus

Mention the polio vaccine and most people think of Jonas Salk. The fact is, however, that the polio vaccine used today is actually based on the work of another Jewish physician, Albert…

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The Jewish League of Woman Suffrage

In the early twentieth century, one of the critical political battles was the fight for women’s right to vote. Among the suffragist organizations of Great Britain, there arose a unique…

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A Constitutional Congregation

What does the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania have to do with the oldest synagogue in that state? Congregation Mikveh Israel (Originally Kaal Kadosh Mickve Israel) was founded in the 1740s…

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The Thanksgiving Synagogue Service

While Thanksgiving is most certainly an American festival of gratitude, its founders prominently articulated its religious underpinnings, which ultimately find their source in Judaism.…

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Guilty By Association?

Historic references to David Salisbury Franks (c. 1740-1793) do not mention anti-Semitism. Franks had a far more serious cloud hanging over him--the unfortunate honor of serving as an…

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