Toledot 5772-2011

“Isaac Blesses His Sons” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn how Isaac’s intentions to bless Esau are thwarted by the deceptive actions of…

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Vayeitzei 5763-2002

"The Transformation of Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week's Torah portion, parashat Vayeitzei, continues the fascinating story of the patriarchal family of Isaac and the saga of…

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Toledot 5773-2012

"The Sale of the Birthright" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn of the sale of the birthright by Esau to his twin brother Jacob. In order to…

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The Many Wives of Esau

Have you ever wondered who Esau married? In fact, Esau’s marital history is explicitly detailed in Genesis: “And when Esau was forty years old, he took as his wife wife Judith (also…

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Vayishlach 5764-2003

"Who Was Esau?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, reaches a crescendo with the dramatic encounter between Jacob and Esau. Jacob has been away from…

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Vayishlach 5777-2016

“Esau and Jacob Embrace and Kiss: Sincere or Insincere?” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob and Esau are reunited after twenty years…

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Vayeitzei 5774-2013

"Jacob Separates from Laban" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, recounts the trials and experiences of Jacob during the twenty years that he…

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Toledot 5768-2007

"Esau's Loud and Bitter Cry" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, the rivalry between Esau and Jacob reaches its peak as Esau realizes that his brother…

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Toledot 5762-2001

"The Deception of Isaac" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we encounter in Genesis 27 the well known story of Isaac's attempt to bless Esau.…

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Vayishlach 5772-2011

“Jacob Lines Up His Family for the Encounter With Esau” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after his epic struggle with the angel, Jacob prepares…

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Vayishlach 5776-2015

“Jacob Tarries in Succot” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob sends messengers ahead of him to Esau, his brother, to the land of Seir to…

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Toledot 5780-2019

“A Lesson from Jacob and Esau: Understanding and Accepting Differences” (Updated and revised from Toledot 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha,…

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Toledot 5778-2017

“Isaac’s Unconditional Love for Esau” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we read of the birth of Esau and Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when his wife,…

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Toledot 5760-1999

"A Lesson from Jacob and Esau: Understanding and Accepting Differences" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we find some of the most fascinating…

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Vayishlach 5779-2018

“Jacob’s Challenging Life” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   As this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, opens, we find a fearful patriarch Jacob sending a huge tribute of flocks and…

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Vayeitzei 5770-2009

"Punishment Awaits the Evildoers" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we read of the deception of Jacob by his father-in-law, Laban. Jacob, of course,…

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Vayishlach 5765-2004

"The Encounter" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we read of the dramatic encounter between Jacob and Esau. Uncertain whether Esau is coming toward…

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Vayishlach 5773-2012

"Gid Ha’nasheh: The Sinew of the Thigh" By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after twenty two years of fleeing from his brother Esau, who had…

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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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Dan, Son of Jacob

Rachel had Jacob’s heart, Leah had his children. For four long years, Rachel watched her sister give birth to son after son until she could bear it no longer. Frustrated but determined,…

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Vayishlach 5766-2005

"When a Jew Comes to the City" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob sends a most impressive tribute consisting of goats, ewes, rams, camels and…

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Dinah, The Daughter of Jacob

Dinah, the seventh and youngest child of Leah and Jacob, was born the same year as her half-brother Joseph. In fact, the Talmud (Brachot 60a) notes that Leah specifically prayed that…

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Dinah, The Daughter of Jacob

Dinah, the seventh and youngest child of Leah and Jacob, was born the same year as her half-brother Joseph. In fact, the Talmud (Brachot 60a) notes that Leah specifically prayed that the…

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Vayishlach 5774-2013

"The Death of Deborah, Rebecca’s Nurse" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after the traumatic rape of Dina in Shechem and the revenge at the hands…

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Naphtali, Son of Jacob

After four years of marriage and desperate to have a child, Rachel gave her handmaid, Bilhah, to her husband Jacob to be an additional wife and to bear children in her name. Any children…

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Naphtali, Son of Jacob

After four years of marriage and desperate to have a child, Rachel gave her handmaid, Bilhah, to her husband Jacob to be an additional wife and to bear children in her name. Any children…

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Vayishlach 5769-2008

"What's in a Name?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Parashat Vayishlach seems to be a virtual endurance test for poor Jacob. In this parasha, Jacob at last encounters his brother Esau who has…

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Issachar, Son of Jacob

Before his death, Jacob gathered his sons to him and gave them each a blessing that specifically reflected their personalities and their futures. To Issachar, Leah’s fifth son, Jacob…

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Vayeitzei 5769-2008

"Leah, the Fourth Matriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayeitzei, Jacob leaves Beersheba, fleeing from his brother Esau who threatened to murder him. Upon his arrival at the…

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Judah, Son of Jacob

When Judah, the fourth son of Leah and Jacob, was born, Leah said, “This time let me gratefully praise God” (based on the Hebrew infinitive, l’hodot, “to praise”). Judah first…

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