The Chassidim of Ger

While the Holocaust destroyed numerous chassidic communities, some of the surviving sects maintained their significance and impact after the war. Such was the case of the Ger Chassidim.…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5770-2010

"Making a Reckoning" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Behar, the first of this week's double parashiot-– Behar-Bechukotai, the Torah teaches a remarkable law intended to protect…

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Resident Alien

Perhaps you are familiar with the Hebrew term “ger,” derived from the Hebrew term “lagoor” - to dwell or sojourn. While ger is often translated as stranger, it is also the Hebrew term for…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5761-2001

"The Torah's Attitude Towards Converts" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, parashat Beha'alotecha, continues the narrative of the Jew's wanderings in the…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5762-2002

"The Promise of Total Return" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parashiot, Nitzavim and Vayeilech, are among the final parashiot of the book of Deuteronomy and contain the…

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Kee Tavo 5760-2000

"Welcoming the Stranger" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, opens with the ritual of bringing the Bikurim, the first fruits of the season, to 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…

Naso 5764-2004

"Our Brother, Our Sister--the Proselyte" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Naso, we learn of an interesting law concerning a person who takes possession of…

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5780-2020

The Torah’s Attitude toward Converts (Revised and Updated from Parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald. This coming week’s Torah portion, parashat…

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Bo 5772-2012

"The Plague of Darkness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we learn of the eighth, ninth and tenth of the ten plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of…

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Eikev 5772-2012

"Loving the Stranger" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, the Torah boldly pronounces the positive mitzvah of loving the stranger. In Deuteronomy 10:19,…

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Kee Tisah 5777-2017

“The Gift of Torah"   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, the Torah reports that G-d gave Moses two stone Tablets of Testimony that were…

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Kee Tavo 5779-2019

“Welcoming the Stranger” (Revised and updated from Kee Tavo 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo,opens with the ritual of bringing בִּכּוּרִים…

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Balak 5771-2011

"Taking the Law Into One’s Own Hand" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the conclusion of this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, we learn that after Bilaam’s failed attempts to curse the…

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The Hijacked Sage

Born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1906, Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner was raised in a family that had roots in both the world of Chassidut (Ger) and Lithuanian Jewry. After receiving a private…

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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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Bo 5769-2009

"It's Payback Time!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the concluding chapter of this week's parasha, parashat Bo, G-d commands Moses to inform the people to sanctify the firstborn. The…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5769-2009

"Blood–the Essence of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Tzav, the Torah declares rather definitively, (Leviticus 7:26), "V'chol dahm lo toch'loo b'chol mohsh'voh'taychem,"…

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Vayeira 5772-2011

“Were Lot’s Daughters Moral or Immoral?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, Abraham famously bargains with G-d in order to save the cities of Sodom and…

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Bentching/Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals

Birkat HaMazonGrace After MealsBentching How easy it is, when we are wanting, to ask G-d for the food, to remember our “please…

Behar-Bechukotai 5769-2009

"Impoverishment: In those Days, in these Times" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Until the recent financial meltdown, it was difficult to conceive of impoverishment, especially in the Jewish…

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Vayechi 5762-2001

"The Debate: Burial In The Land of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, concludes the book of Bereshit, Genesis. Parashat Vayechi includes…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5764-2004

"Hastening the Messiah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashiot Nitzavim and Vayeilech are always read together before Rosh Hashanah, unless there is a Shabbat in between Yom Kippur and…

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Nitzavim 5761-2001

"Striving to Reach Heaven During the Days of Awe" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This past Saturday night, September 8, or early Sunday morning to be more exact, Ashkenazic Jews the world…

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Vayigash 5764-2003

"The Secret of Jewish Survival in Exile?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayigash, the exciting story of Joseph and his brothers draws to a conclusion. Joseph instructs his…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5764-2004

"The Revolutionary Nature of Shemita and Yovel" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In the first of this week's double parashiot, parashat Behar, we encounter the remarkable laws of Shemita--the…

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Balak 5770-2010

"A Nation that Dwells Alone" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, Balak, the king of Moab, retains the services of the renowned gentile prophet, Bilaam, to…

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Balak 5761-2001

"Words of Eternal Truth from the Evil Prophet Bilaam" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Balak, we encounter Balak, the King of Moab, soliciting the…

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Acharei Mot 5771-2011

"The Unfathomable Practice of Molech Worship" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In Leviticus 18, the last chapter of this week's parasha, parashat Acharei Mot, we encounter a long list of…

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Ah’nay’noo / Answer Us

On public fast days, the following prayer asking for communal forgiveness is added by the prayer leader to the repetition of the Amidah during morning and afternoon services. An…

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