Philistines

Few nations play as dominant a role in biblical history as do the Philistines. Settled in the lands along the Mediterranean coast (the area of contemporary Gaza), they were a continual…

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Putting Chanukah In Perspective

The events of Chanukah took place about 150 years after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), which brought 40 years of civil war to his empire. Eventually, the empire was divided…

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Putting Chanukah in Perspective

The events of Chanukah took place about 150 years after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), whose death brought 40 years of civil war to his empire. Eventually, the empire was…

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Putting Chanukah In Perspective

The events of Chanukah took place about 150 years after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), whose death brought 40 years of civil war to his empire. Eventually, the empire was…

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Putting Chanukah In Perspective

Tonight we will light the final Chanukah candles. Let us take just a few more moments to make Chanukah real in our minds by placing it in its historical context: The events of Chanukah…

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Conqueror’s Name

Alexander is certainly not the type of name one typically thinks of as a traditional Jewish name. It may surprise you to learn that the name originated as a way of honoring none other…

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What’s in the Book: Kings II (Part 1)

The Second Book of Kings continues the history of a divided nation: the Kingdom of Israel in the north (10 tribes) and the Kingdom of Judea (Judah and Benjamin) in the south. After…

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Putting Chanukah in Perspective

Last night we lit the final Chanukah candles, and today is the last day of the holiday. Let us now take just a few more moments to make Chanukah real in our minds. We’ve talked about the…

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Putting Chanukah in Historical Perspective

The events of Chanukah took place about 150 years after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), which brought 40 years of civil war to his empire. Eventually, the empire was divided…

Read More

Putting Chanukah in Perspective

The events of Chanukah took place about 150 years after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), which brought 40 years of civil war to his empire. Eventually, the empire was divided…

Read More

Putting Chanukah in Perspective

The events of Chanukah took place about 150 years after the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE), which brought 40 years of civil war to his empire. Eventually, the empire was divided…

Read More

Balak 5767-2007

"The Enemy Within" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most intriguing and perplexing patterns found in Scripture is the frequent emergence of evil from good and good from evil. Adam…

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The Jewish Winter Palace

November 7, 1917, or October 25th on the Julian Calendar that was still used by the Russian Orthodox Church at the time, marks the climax of the Russian Revolution. On that day, 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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Va’etchanan 5773-2013

"Behold the Beauty of the Land" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, opens with Moses recalling his heartfelt plea to the Al-mighty, and its rejection,…

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The Western Light

Tens of thousands of tourists stream annually to countries such as Canada, Iceland, Norway and even the U.S. state of Alaska, to behold the exquisite Northern Lights, aurora borealis,…

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Mourning Jerusalem II: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the land of…

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Mourning Jerusalem II: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the…

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An Earlier Siege

Today, the tenth of Tevet, is a fast day that commemorates the beginning of the Babylonians’ final siege on the city of Jerusalem, which served then as the capital of the Kingdom of…

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Mourning Jerusalem II: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the…

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Mourning Jerusalem II: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of  Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the…

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Mourning Jerusalem II: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the…

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After Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty King of Babylon, reigned for forty years. He was so commanding a figure that, according to the Midrash, his own son, Evil-Merodach, was afraid to assume his…

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Mourning Jerusalem II: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the…

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What’s in the Book: the Twelve Prophets – Amos

Amos was a herdsman of Tekoa, who prophesied during the reign of Kings Jeroboam II of Israel and Uzziah of Judea. Amos’ initial prophecies declared that the neighboring city-states…

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Fasting on Friday

The general rule of Jewish fast days is that they cannot occur on Friday. This rule is meant to protect the joy and happiness of Shabbat, for the sages felt that entering Shabbat hungry…

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What’s in the Book: the Twelve Prophets – Joel

The Book of Joel is a mere four chapters long. The prophet Joel lived in the Kingdom of Judea and prophesied during the reign of the wicked King Manasseh (c. 600 B.C.E.). Joel’s prophecy…

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Mourning Jerusalem: A Brief History of the Second Temple

The Babylonian Exile that followed the destruction of the First Temple lasted for 70 years. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nechemia, however, the Jews began to return to the…

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Fasting on Friday

The general rule of Jewish fast days is that they cannot occur on Friday. This rule is meant to protect the joy and happiness of Shabbat, for the sages felt that entering Shabbat hungry…

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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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