At the Rebbe’s Table

In a chassidic community, the Rebbe is far more than the decider of Jewish law and the head of the synagogue. A Chassidic Rebbe is the center of life for his community, a guide for their…

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“The Rebbe”

Jews worldwide observe the yahrzeit (anniversary of death) of the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of blessed memory, on the 3rd of Tammuz, which is observed…

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The Chassidic Rebbe and His Snoopy Tie

On January 3, 2000, the final edition of the “Peanuts” comic strip appeared in the daily edition of newspapers worldwide. For the followers of Charlie Brown and his gang, it was the end…

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The Sixth Rebbe

Today, the 10th of Shevat, is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, who is also referred to as the Rayatz (an acronym of his name). Far…

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The Rebbe from Berdichev

One of the major themes of the recently–observed High Holidays is to “emulate” God. Just as God is merciful to humankind, so should we be. One of the greatest role models for this type of…

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The Rebbe from Berdichev

One of the major themes of the recently–observed High Holidays is to “emulate” God. Just as God is merciful to humankind, so should we be. One of the greatest role models for this type of…

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Vayishlach 5763-2002

"We Can Forgive the Arabs For Killing Our Children..." by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As we learn more and more Torah, we cannot help but realize that we frequently learn revolutionary…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5770-2010

"Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, parashat Pekudei, we read that after many days, weeks and months of…

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Pinchas 5771-2011

"'Pinchas'--What’s in a Name?" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn that G-d praises Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the Priest, for…

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Progress For Women

On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, prohibiting all U.S. states and the Federal government from denying the right to vote to any…

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Progress for Women

On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, prohibiting all U.S. states and the Federal government from denying the right to vote to any…

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Vayigash 5773-2012

"Is My Father Still Alive?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, we read of one of the most dramatic moments in the Torah, when Joseph finally reveals…

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Satmar’s Grandfather

When an important decision needs to be made, people often consider the consequences of their decisions taking into consideration, of course, the near future and the long term goals. Once…

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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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The Kotzker

The Chassidic movement, which started with the Baal Shem Tov in the early 1700s, was known for its joyous attitudes, its focus on good deeds and the celebration of miracle makers. Whereas…

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Bostoner

Boston is a famous and historic American city, with a rich early-American flavor. So it might therefore be surprising to learn that Boston is the home of its own unique chassidic sect. It…

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Opulent on the Outside Only

Dressed in fancy clothes with silver buttons and a hat of golden fur, Rabbi Israel Friedman (1797-1850) of Rhuzin was a unique figure among the chassidic leaders. He surrounded himself…

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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…

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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Campaigning From The Periphery Or The Center?

There’s an adage in American politics, that candidates win their party’s primary by positioning themselves to the extreme, and win national elections by moving to the center. Should a…

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Tragedy Overcome

Originally based in the town of Bobowa in Southern Poland, the Bobover chassidim were almost completely annihilated by the Nazis. Rabbi Ben Tzion Halberstam, the second Bobover Rebbe, and…

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Matot 5768-2008

"Striving for Refined Speech" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Matot, we learn of the laws that govern vows and oaths, known in Hebrew as nedarim and…

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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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Completing the Cycle of Talmud

In August 1923, weeks before the High Holidays, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, dean of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland, proposed that the entire Jewish world study a daily folio of Talmud (a…

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Sarah’s Whereabouts Determine Jewish Law

Parashat Vayeira begins with Avraham convalescing after his circumcision. Unexpectedly, he sees three “visitors,” whom the Midrash identifies as angels, come toward his home. Excited to…

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Sarah’s Whereabouts Determine Jewish Law

Parashat Vayeira begins with Abraham convalescing after his circumcision. Unexpectedly, he sees three “visitors,” whom the Midrash identifies as angels, come toward his home. Excited to…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777-2017

“Judging Others Favorably” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, has 38 negative and 13 positive mitzvot and…

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Toledot 5769-2008

"The Blessings of a Tzaddik" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we read of Isaac's desire to bless Esau, and Rebecca's scheme to divert the blessing to…

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How to Unify the Nation

This Shabbat we read in the Torah both parashat Vayakhel and the special Torah portion for parashat Shekalim, that describes the half shekel donation given in Temple times to the Temple…

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Breslov

“To always be happy is a great mitzvah.” These famous words of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov have inspired the followers of his teachings to strive to achieve true simcha (happiness) in their…

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