Rav Saadia Gaon

Rabbi Saadia ben Joseph, known by the appellation Rav Saadia Gaon (Gaon was the title of the religious leader of the Jewish community in Babylon) is best known in history as a philosopher…

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A Sephardi Gaon

Because of the dedication of Rabbi Ezra Attiya (1885-1969), hundreds of Sephardic Jews chose to extend their education, scores decided to dedicate their lives to Torah study and dozens of…

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Abraham ben Abraham

Legend has it that Valentine Pototski, the son of a Polish nobleman, met an old Jew at a tavern and promised to convert to Judaism if the Jew convincingly argued the superiority of…

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Devarim 5774-2014

“Moses: The Lonely Leader” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, opens the fifth book of the Torah, the book of Devarim, also known as Deuteronomy. Much of…

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Vayeira 5774-2013

“Greater than Welcoming the Divine Presence” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, record that the Al-mighty appeared to Abraham in the…

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Pinchas 5772-2012

“Transferring Power” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn of the transfer of the leadership of Israel from Moses to Joshua. In Numbers 27:12,…

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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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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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Devarim 5776-2016

“Moses the Stammerer, Becomes a World-Class Orator" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With parashat Devarim, we begin to read the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Torah.…

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Kee Tavo 5773-2013

"Not Rushing to Judgment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, we learn of the Jewish farmer’s obligation to bring Bikurim from the first produce of the…

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Sources Commentators

Abarbanel (1437-1508, Spanish statesman, philosopher and commentator) Achad Ha’Am (Asher Zvi Hirsh Ginsberg, 1856-1927) AJOP (Association for Jewish Outreach Programs) Akeidat Yitzchak…

A Treat For World Philosophy Day

Philosophy is defined by dictionary.com as "the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct." Judaism, being a religion, is a system of living…

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Can’t We Agree on the Blessings over Brit Milah?

Parashat Vayera contains the story of the circumcision of Isaac (Genesis 21:4), the first person to undergo the ritual of circumcision on the eighth day of life. At a Brit Milah, the…

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Gunpowder Purim

There are many ways to thank God for saving your life. Many people donate extra tzedakah (charity) as a means of demonstrating their gratitude. In situations that were particularly…

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The Forced Closing of the “Ivy League” Yeshiva

The idea of a school with a dual curriculum, teaching both Judaic and general subjects is not too farfetched. Dozens, if not hundreds, of such private schools can be found around the…

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Preacher Man

One does not often associate preachers with Judaism. There are, however, certain distinct personalities in Jewish history who are known for their ability to inspire through their…

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Preacher Man

One does not often associate preachers with Judaism. There are, however, certain distinct personalities in Jewish history who are known for their ability to inspire through their oratory.…

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Preacher Man

One does not often associate preachers with Judaism. There are, however, certain distinct personalities in Jewish history who are known for their ability to inspire through their oratory.…

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It’s About Leadership

“For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He is the ruler over the nations” (Psalms 22:29). The Vilna Gaon (Elijah Ben Solomon, 1720 - 1797) considered one of the most brilliant men of his…

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Yitro 5773-2013

"The Third Commandment: Against Perjury and Profane Swearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, we encounter the first of the two references to the Ten…

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Emor 5773-2013

"Sanctifying G-d’s Name" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, we find the seminal commandments to sanctify G-d’s name and the prohibition of desecrating…

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Noah 5770-2009

"The Message of the Rainbow" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Noah, tells the story of the great flood that inundated the world in the days of Noah. After the…

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Kinnot

KinnotMany devastating events took place on the 9th of Av. This is why the Jewish people consider it the saddest day on the…

The Unspeakable

The Prophet Jeremiah, lived during the destruction by the Babylonians of Solomon’s Temple, and served as the Jews’ chief consoler as they were being exiled out of Jerusalem. Jeremiah’s…

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Never to Forget

In 1938, when  native New Yorker Lucy Schildkret Dawidowicz (1915-1990) was 23 years old, she traveled to Vilna, Lithuania, in order to immerse herself in the Yiddish culture that…

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The Maharal of Prague

To the Jewish community and general population at large, the Maharal of Prague is the revered, mystical medieval rabbi who created the Golem to protect the Jews in the Prague ghetto. But…

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Re’eh 5770-2010

"The Blessing and the Curse" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, Moses appeals to the Jewish people to faithfully abide by G-d's commandments, adjuring…

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A Symbolic Synagogue

It is a surprisingly ironic fact that a synagogue whose name means “ruin” has, for many decades, been a symbol of hope. The Hurva Synagogue of Jerusalem, which was once known for its lone…

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Korach 5769-2009

"A Controversy with an Ignoble Purpose" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the rebellion that Korach led against Moses, Aaron and G-d.…

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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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