The Crown of Israel’s Jezreel Valley

Today the city of Afula, with a population of 49,000, sits as the crown and virtual capital of the Jezreel Valley in north-central Israel. Many identify modern day Afula with the…

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Terumah 5770-2010

"Earning a Meaningful Living" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Terumah is the first of the five concluding parashiot of the book of Exodus that describe the building of the…

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Viewing Vashti

She was raised a royal princess, he was raised in the stables. Vashti the daughter of the great Babylonian king, Belshazzar, and Achashverosh the son of Darius the Mede, were a match…

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Viewing Vashti

She was raised a royal princess, he was raised in the stables. Vashti the daughter of the great Babylonian king, Belshazzar, and Achashverosh the son of Darius the Mede, were a match…

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Viewing Vashti

She was raised a royal princess, he was raised in the stables. Vashti the daughter of the great Babylonian king, Belshazzar, and Achashverosh the son of Darius the Mede, were a match…

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Tetzaveh 5770-2010

"The Central Role of the Golden Altar and the Incense" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The order of the Torah's instructions, regarding the furnishings of the Tabernacle and the vestments…

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Kee Teitzei 5778-2018

"The Impact of Performing Mitzvot" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, has more mitzvot than any other parasha in the Torah, featuring a total of 74…

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Tetzaveh 5780-2020

“The True Story of Purim” (updated and revised from Tetzaveh 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week’s parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, speaks of the fashioning of the…

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Blue Laws and the Supreme Court

In honor of the first session of the United States Supreme Court (February 2, 1790), Jewish Treats looks at one of the first Jewish issues brought before the Supreme Court Justices: Blue…

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Shemot 5763-2002

"The Making of a Concerned Jewish Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The story of Joseph has come to a conclusion, and with the arrival of the children of Jacob in Egypt, G-d's…

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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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Emor 5775-2015

“Distractions, Distractions!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s Torah portion, parashat Emor, opens with an extensive series of laws regarding the conduct of the Kohanim, the…

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Kee Tavo 5775-2015

“Making The Final Commitment” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, Moses continues to deliver his final message to the Jewish people. Shortly before…

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Pekudei 5779-2019

"Honesty and Integrity in Public Life” (Revised and updated from Pekudei 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Pekudei, the Torah portion begins…

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The Ten Sephirot

Most people associate kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) with the Zohar (Book of Splendor). However, the earliest text to which the sages refer is Sefer…

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Eikev 5762-2002

"Worshiping G-d With All One's Heart" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Traditional Jewish prayer is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, prayer is meant to be a spontaneous outpouring of…

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A History of Religious Freedom in North America

On September 12, 1695, the small Jewish community of what would become New York City, petitioned Governor Thomas Dongan for the right to exercise their religion in public. Because of the…

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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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Vayechi 5766-2006

"The Passing of a Patriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, we read of the passing of the patriarch Jacob. The Torah tells us that as soon as…

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Pekudei 5760-2000

"Honesty and Integrity in Public Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Pekudei, the Torah portion begins with an accounting of the amounts of gold,…

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Shemot 5772-2012

“A Truly Moral Man Goes Out To His Brethren” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we learn how Moses is saved from certain death after being placed by his…

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Terumah 5774-2014

“The Shulchan--Much More Than Just a Table” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, the Children of Israel are asked to donate the necessary materials to be…

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Vayeira 5777-2016

“There is But No Fear of G-d in this Place” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, Abraham relives the trauma of his wife’s abduction in Egypt when he…

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Chukat 5777-2017

“Moses’ Painful Words of Comfort” Among the diverse themes found in parashat Chukat, we learn of the death of Aaron. According to tradition, on the first day of Av, in the fortieth and…

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Terumah 5778-2018

“The Cherubs” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, we read of the many and varied materials that were donated by the people to build the Mishkan, the…

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Korach 5778-2018

“Where Did Korach Go Wrong?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the rebellion of Korach, Datan and Abiram, and 250 men of the Children of…

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Terumah 5771-2011

“The Message of the Holy Ark” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, we learn, in great detail, of the building of the Tabernacle. G-d tells Moses to…

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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 Aleppo Codex

The story of the Jewish people is one of wandering, exile and redemption. It is therefore not surprising that many items precious to Jewish life have followed similar paths. An excellent…

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Jews in Christchurch?

When one thinks of the far reaches of the globe, New Zealand should obviously come to mind. What people may not know is that over 6,800 Jews live in New Zealand today, mostly in Auckland…

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