What’s in the Book: Joshua

The Book of Joshua (Yehoshua) is the first of the ten books known as Nevi'im, the Books of the Prophets. It begins after Moses’ death, when Joshua bin Nun assumed the leadership of…

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What’s In The Book: Joshua

The Book of Joshua (Yehoshua) is the first of the ten books known as Nevi'im, the Books of the Prophets. It begins after Moses’ death, when Joshua bin Nun assumed the leadership of the…

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Pinchas 5769-2009

"Joshua, the Worthy Successor" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Pinchas, G-d informs Moses that he will soon die because he and Aaron rebelled against G-d's…

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With Moveable Type

The first known book to be printed in Europe with moveable type was the Gutenberg Bible, printed in Germany in 1445. And while the German printing guild had strict rules against…

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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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Shelach 5776-2016

“A Name Change Becomes a Game Changer" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, we read the well-known story of the scouts who are sent into the Land of…

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People of the (Printed) Book

Johannes Gutenberg, credited as the developer of the printing press, published the Gutenberg Bible in 1445. The printing technology transformed the way people learned. International…

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Shelach 5778-2018

“Moses Called Hoshea the Son of Nun, ‘Joshua’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach-Lecha, the tragic story of the scouts is recounted. The scouts’…

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Spying: Take Two

The Book of Joshua begins with God appearing to Joshua, Moses’ prime disciple and successor, and informing him to prepare to lead the Children of Israel into the Land of Israel. Joshua…

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Shelach 5766-2006

"Who was Caleb?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Shelach is probably the saddest parasha in the Torah. It is in this weekly portion that the Israelite men of the Exodus generation…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5764-2004

"Searching for Eldad and Medad" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Beha'alotecha, brims with many fascinating themes. So much so, that some of them get short…

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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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Beyond Jericho

While the Torah goes into considerable detail about the birth and early years of Moses, nothing is written about his successor, Joshua (Ye’hoshua) bin Nun. The only real information given…

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Shelach 5764-2004

"Where Did the Spies Go Wrong?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach, G-d tells Moses (Numbers 13:2): "Sh'lach l'chah ah'nah'shim, v'yah'too'roo et Eretz…

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It’s All in the Timing

When setting out to conquer the Promised Land, the Israelites' first military confrontation was with Jericho. This battle is famous...Why? Because (now sing aloud to yourself): "Joshua…

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Rebuilding Jericho

The fall of Jericho is one of the best known narratives of the Books of the Prophets. One of the first cities conquered by the Israelites upon entering the Promised Land, its walls…

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It’s All In The Timing

When setting out to conquer the Promised Land, the Israelites' first military confrontation was with Jericho. This battle is famous...Why? Because (now sing aloud to yourself): "Joshua…

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Ordaining with Both Hands

Semicha, which connotes rabbinic ordination, as understood today, consists of passing proficiency exams and receiving permission from one’s teachers to rule on questions of Jewish law.…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5772-2012

"Eldad and Medad" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the many fascinating topics in this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’alot’cha, is the story of Eldad and Medad. Eldad and Medad are…

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Italkim, the Italian Liturgy

It is believed by many, that the first Jews to have traveled to the land now known as Italy came to Rome as ambassadors sent by Judah Maccabee (of Chanukah fame). Certainly it was not…

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Skeptic’s Day: Or is It?

Happy “Skeptics Day,” is the annual opportunity to acknowledge those who need absolute evidence before believing anything. What does Jewish wisdom teach about skepticism? In a Jewish…

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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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Manna from Military Aircraft?

Is there a connection between “Manna,” the food from heaven that sustained the Children of Israel in the Sinai wilderness, and a World War II humanitarian military operation? On the…

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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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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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Shelach 5767-2007

"The Ma'ah'peelim: Forcing Their Way Into the Promised Land" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach-Lecha, we read about the "Ma'ah'peelim," the ancient…

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Pinchas 5768-2008

"The Zealotry of Pinchas as Seen Through the Midrash" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Last week's parasha, parashat Balak, closed with the story of Pinchas' zealotry. As we read in that…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5771-2011

"The Nature of Moses’ Humility" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’alot’cha, we learn that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses concerning the Kushite…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5769-2009

"Farewell to a Great Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Vayeilech, the second of this week's combined parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, Moses bids a final farewell to the…

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Shelach 5769-2009

"Long-Term Consequences" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach, we are told of the twelve scouts who were sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan in…

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