Fearing God

“The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge...” (Proverbs 1:7)The idea of “fearing God” carries with it overtones of fire and brimstone, a puritanical flavor that seems foreign to our…

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Fearing God

“The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge...” (Proverbs 1:7) The idea of “fearing God” carries with it overtones of fire and brimstone, a puritanical flavor that seems foreign to our…

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Yitro 5778-2018

“Striving as a Jewish Ideal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law advises Moses to delegate authority when he sits in…

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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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Yitro 5769-2009

"Ambassadors Needed" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Yitro, Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, gives his son-in-law practical and insightful advice regarding the…

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Naso 5778-2018

“Counting the ‘Special’ People” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, after conducting a census of all the tribes of Israel and assigning each tribe a…

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Re’eh 5761-2001

"Charity! The Investment with the Greatest Return" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, Parashat Re'eh, is a truly edifying portion, and is filled with many…

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Va’etchanan 5760-2000

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Parenting" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Wednesday evening (August 9) and Thursday (August 10), we will observe Tisha B'Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av,…

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Tetzaveh 5769-2009

"The Urim and Tumim--The Mysterious Priestly Accessory" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, is concerned primarily with the vestments of the priests.…

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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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Devarim 5772-2012

"The Al-mighty’s Relationship with the Nations of the World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have previously noted on several occasions (Devarim 5765-2005), the book of Devarim…

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Vayeira 5773-2012

“Seeking Advice From a Good Friend” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As this week's parasha, parashat Vayeira, opens, G-d appears to Abraham in the Plains of Mamre. The Bible, in Genesis…

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Chayei Sarah 5773-2012

"Beware Not to Return My Son There!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn that Abraham, who is well-on in years, is deeply concerned about…

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Yitro 5779-2019

“An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World” (Revised and updated from Yitro 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the end of last week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach (Exodus…

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Va’etchanan 5779-2019

“The Torah’s Radical Approach to Parenting” (Revised and updated from Va’etchanan 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This past Saturday evening (August 10th) and Sunday…

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Re’eh 5779-2019

“Charity! The Investment That Keeps Giving” (Revised and updated from Re’eh 5760-2001) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, is a truly edifying Torah portion,…

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Yitro 5760-2000

"An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the end of last week's parasha, Parashat B'shalach (Exodus 17:8-16), the Jewish people have an…

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Kee Tavo 5770-2010

"Secret Transgressions" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, we once again encounter the Tochacha, G-d’s reproval of the Jewish people. The Tochacha…

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Tu B’Av

Tu B'AvThe Fifteenth of Av Tu B’Av (The Fifteenth of Av) is no longer the well-known holiday on the…

No Holiday as Joyous

Tu b’Av (The Fifteenth of Av) is no longer the well-known holiday on the Jewish calendar that it was in ancient times. In fact, the Talmud states that: “There were no holidays so joyous…

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Matot-Masei 5772-2012

“Words that Hurt, Words that Heal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Matot, the first of this week’s two parashiot, we are immediately confronted with the exceptional power of…

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Kee Teitzei 5772-2012

"The Sanctity of the Camp of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, contains 74 mitzvot-- more mitzvot than any other portion of the Torah. 27 are…

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Chukat 5776-2016

“The Bronze Serpent" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn that the People of Israel are at it again! Only a short distance remains for…

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Bereshith 5777-2016

“The Decline and Fall of Humankind” by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Bereshith, we begin, once again, to read the first of the Five Books of Moses--the Book of…

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Lech Lecha 5778-2017

“The Beautiful, Barren Matriarchs” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, G-d commands Abram and Sarai (their names had not yet been changed), to give…

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5778-2018

“The Seventy Elders: The Challenge of Jewish Leadership” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   Among the many interesting themes found in this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, is…

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A Scholar and a Playwright

As the epicenter of the Renaissance, Italy was filled with great centers of learning and creativity during the middle centuries of the last millennium. In one of these great centers of…

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Relative Suffering

In Parashat Vayechi we find the patriarch Jacob saying goodbye, and offering blessings and words of wisdom to his loving family. Before offering parting words to all of his sons, Jacob…

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The Fast of Gedaliah (Tzom Gedaliah)

The Fast of Gedaliah is observed to commemorate the murder of Gedaliah, the son of Achikam, which is described in the last chapter of the Second Book of Kings. This murder resulted…

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The Pope and the Jewish Prayer for Rain

Did you know that several centuries ago, a Pope impacted Jewish law? Most Jewish events of note are based on the Jewish calendar. That’s why it’s surprising to learn that the date when…

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