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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Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the Father of Modern Hebrew

The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but until the end of the 19th century almost no one spoke Hebrew colloquially. Lashon Hakodesh, the holy tongue, was used only for prayer and…

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Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the Father of Modern Hebrew

The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but until the end of the 19th century, almost no one spoke Hebrew colloquially. Lashon Hakodesh, the holy tongue, was used only for prayer and…

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Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the Father of Modern Hebrew

The official language of Israel is Hebrew, but until the end of the 19th century almost no one spoke Hebrew colloquially. Lashon Hakodesh, the holy tongue, was used only for prayer…

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David Ben Gurion, An Introduction

David Ben-Gurion is best known as the first Prime Minister of Israel. But, his role in the creation of the State was far greater than can be reflected in any single title. Born in 1886,…

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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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The Ben Ish Chai

When Rabbi Yosef Chaim was 25 years old, his father, Chacham Eliyahu Chaim, leader of the Jewish community in Baghdad, passed away. Although young, Rabbi Yosef Chaim had already achieved…

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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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Pidyon Ha’ben – Redeeming the Firstborn

“You must redeem the firstborn of a person…when he is one month old, for the value of five silver shekels” (Numbers 18:15-16). God sanctified the firstborn male Israelites when He…

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Pidyon Ha’ben – Redeeming the Firstborn

“You must redeem the firstborn of a person ... when he is one month old, for the value of five silver shekels” (Numbers 18:15-16). God sanctified the firstborn male Israelites when He…

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Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel

The death of Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel, which occurred in 70 CE, on 20 Sivan, is part of the well-known and tragic episode of the deaths of the Ten Martyrs, that is included in the liturgy…

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Pidyon Ha’ben – Redeeming the Firstborn

“You must redeem the firstborn of a person ... when he is one month old, for the value of five silver shekels” (Numbers 18:15-16). God sanctified the firstborn male Israelites when He…

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Rabban Yochanan Ben Zakkai and the City of Yavne

Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai lived during the tumultuous times when the Jewish residents of Judea rebelled against Rome, and the Romans besieged and then destroyed Jerusalem. At the time,…

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The Holy Ari: Rabbi Isaac ben Solomon Luria

When Rabbi Isaac ben Solomon Luria arrived in Safed, in 1569, the town had already become a center of Jewish learning, with a particular emphasis on the kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). By…

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Shem ben Noah

When the great flood that inundated the world began, eight people entered the ark: Noah and his wife, Na’ama, and their three sons and three daughters-in-law. Because Noah and Na’ama had…

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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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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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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…

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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Top of the Class

Among the scholars quoted in Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers, are clusters of sages who are interconnected whether due to being from the same city, are part of the same generation or…

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Call Him Ishmael…Rabbi Ishmael

It may seem surprising that the Talmud quotes a sage named Rabbi Ishmael. Biblically, Ishmael the son of Abraham and Hagar, is portrayed as a wild trouble-maker sent away from Abraham’s…

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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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The Second President

Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, the second President of the State of Israel, was born on November 24, 1884 in Poltava, Ukraine.  After participating in the Jewish self-defense units organized…

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The Second President

Yitzchak Ben-Zvi, the second President of the State of Israel, was born on November 24, 1884 in Poltava, Ukraine. After participating in the Jewish self-defense units organized during the…

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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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Vayishlach 5775-2014

“She Called His Name ‘Ben Oni’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob, after many years of separation, finally reunites with his long-estranged…

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