Why Vow?

The framework of Jewish life is set by Jewish law. And, while Jewish law covers almost all aspects of life, there is a great deal of latitude for personal choice within Jewish law. That…

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Without A Vow

Be careful in how you state a promise so that you are not making a vow.

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No Vow

Even in your day-to-day life, be careful not to swear or vow.

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A Vow Like No Other

Jews are not ascetics. In fact, according to Jewish philosophy, the Jew’s job is to take the physical and draw out its spiritual nature. One can’t do that when trying to avoid the…

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Vow-less

Be careful to avoid making vows.

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Vayishlach 5771-2010

“The Power of a Vow” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second part of this week’s action-packed parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we read of Jacob’s return to Beth-El, the scene of his…

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Matot-Masei 5777-2017

“Vows and Oaths” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashiot Matot and Masei are the last two parashiot of the book of Bamidbar--Numbers. The focus of these two final parashiot shifts from…

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Naso 5760-2000

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the curious law of the Nazir, the Nazarite. In…

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Matot-Masei 5772-2012

“Words that Hurt, Words that Heal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Matot, the first of this week’s two parashiot, we are immediately confronted with the exceptional power of…

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Naso 5779-2019

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic" (Revised and updated from Naso 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the…

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Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight" "I am going to pray every day..." We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in…

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Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight" "I am going to pray every day..." We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight" "I am going to pray every day..." We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

“I swear that this time I will lose weight” “I am going to pray every day...” We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight""I am going to pray every day..."We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight” “I am going to pray every day...” We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight" "I am going to pray every day..." We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight""I am going to pray every day..."We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

Read More

Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight" "I am going to pray every day..." We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in…

Read More

Vayikra 5760 – 2000

"Thanking G-d for the Good" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Vayikra, we read about the sacrificial rite. Toward the middle of the parasha, the Torah, in…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5773-2013

"The Value of a Woman" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Bechukotai, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we learn of the laws of valuations--the practice…

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Vayikra 5779-2019

"Thanking G-d for the Good” (Revised and updated from Vayikra 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, we read about the sacrificial rite.…

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Tzav 5766-2006

"Zevach Sh'lamim--Learning to Celebrate Life" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Tzav, we learn of the Peace offering--Zevach Sh'lamim, that was brought as a…

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Yitro 5773-2013

"The Third Commandment: Against Perjury and Profane Swearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, we encounter the first of the two references to the Ten…

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Korach 5780-2020

“Achieving the Good Life by Picking the Right Mate” (updated and revised from parashat Korach 5761-2001)   by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat…

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Who Was a Nazirite?

One of the topics found in Parashat Naso concerns the Nazirite. The Nazirite is a man or woman who vows to avoid the vices of wine and grape products, to avoid any contact with the dead…

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Korach 5761-2001

"Achieving The Good Life by Picking The Right Mate" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Korach, we read of Korach's great rebellion against Moshe. Korach,…

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Lech Lecha 5771-2010

“Abram Prays for Others” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, we find two instances where the commentaries indicate that Abram (his name had not yet…

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Tazria 5776-2016

“Heavenly Reminders” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tazria, focuses on the Biblical malady known as צָרַעַת--Tzara'at, often incorrectly identified as……

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Who Was a Nazirite?

One of the areas covered in Parashat Naso is about the Nazirite. This is a man or woman who opts to avoid the vices of wine and grape products, eludes any contact with the dead and does…

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