The Elder of Slabodka

One who chooses to study the history of the development of the twentieth century rabbinic leadership will likely come across the name “Slabodka.” The town for which the renowned yeshiva…

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Belarus, China, Jerusalem and Brooklyn: The Odyssey of the World’s Largest Yeshiva

For 125 years, from 1814 until 1939, the Mir Yeshiva served as a beacon of elite Torah study on the European continent. Situated in the small town of Mir in Belarus, the yeshiva was…

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Belarus, China, Jerusalem and Brooklyn: The Odyssey of the World’s Largest Yeshiva

For 125 years, from 1814 until 1939, the Mir Yeshiva served as a beacon of elite Torah study on the European continent. Situated in the small town of Mir in Belarus, the yeshiva was…

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Fyvush

There are certain entertainers who are known by their first name, such as Matisyahu, Madonna, Cher, Eminem etc. Others are known by their first name, despite widespread knowledge of their…

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The Hijacked Sage

Born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1906, Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner was raised in a family that had roots in both the world of Chassidut (Ger) and Lithuanian Jewry. After receiving a private…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5770-2010

"Loving Thy Neighbor" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week's double parashiot -- Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, we read the famous, indeed, revolutionary…

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Surviving Via Shanghai

In his youth, Rabbi Chaim Shmulevitz probably never imagined that he would visit Shanghai, let alone take care of the finances for several yeshivas in that Chinese city. Thanks to visas…

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Vayeira 5772-2011

“Were Lot’s Daughters Moral or Immoral?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, Abraham famously bargains with G-d in order to save the cities of Sodom and…

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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…

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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Bechukotai 5776-2016

“The Tochaycha–G-d’s Daunting Reproof of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Bechukotai, contains the first of two Tochaychot--תּוֹכֵחוֹת, G-d’s reproofs or…

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Vayeishev 5773-2012

“Heaven-Sent Spices” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the sale of Joseph by his brothers, to merchants who eventually bring Joseph to…

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Shoftim 5775-2015

“Idolatrous Trees and Unqualified Judges” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we learn of the prohibition of planting forbidden trees and erecting…

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Mikeitz 5776-2015

“Joseph’s Bold Advice to Pharaoh-–Revisited” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph, the Hebrew slave boy, is hurried from the dungeon to stand…

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Shemot 5776-2016

"By What Right Does Moses Kill The Egyptian?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we learn that Moses, who was raised in the royal house of Pharaoh,…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5780-2020

“Challenging the Stereotypes: Purity and Impurity in Childbirth” (edited and revised from Parashiot Tazria-Metzorah 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In the first of…

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A Scholar and a Playwright

As the epicenter of the Renaissance, Italy was filled with great centers of learning and creativity during the middle centuries of the last millennium. In one of these great centers of…

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Tragedy Overcome

Originally based in the town of Bobowa in Southern Poland, the Bobover chassidim were almost completely annihilated by the Nazis. Rabbi Ben Tzion Halberstam, the second Bobover Rebbe, and…

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A Scholar and A Playwright

As the epicenter of the Renaissance, Italy was filled with great centers of learning and creativity during the middle centuries of the last millennium. In one of these great centers of…

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Lech Lecha 5770-2009

"Go for Yourself " by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, the Almighty says to Abram (Genesis 12:1): "Lech l'cha may'ar'tzeh'chah, oo'mee'mo'lahd't'cha,…

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Chosen To Write: Chaim Potok

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with an angel and emerged as Israel, “He who struggles.” In the 20th-21st century, Western Jews spend a great amount of energy wrestling with the world of…

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Sophie Udin, An Energy to Organize

There are some people who are born with a natural energy to do and to organize. Sophie Udin (1896 - 1960) was just such a woman. She was still a young child when her parents emigrated…

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Mikeitz 5771-2010

"Joseph’s Bold Advice to Pharaoh" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph is taken from the dungeon and brought before Pharaoh, where he interprets…

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Bereshith 5773-2012

“What is Heaven?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening parasha of the book of Genesis, parashat Bereshith, contains the dramatic biblical account of the physical creation of the…

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The Aleppo Codex

The story of the Jewish people is one of wandering, exile and redemption. It is therefore not surprising that many items precious to Jewish life have followed similar paths. An excellent…

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The Netziv

At most yeshivot, the primary focus of study is on the Oral Law (as compiled in the Talmud and later legal compendiums), leaving the study of the written Tanach (the five books of…

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Chosen To Write: Chaim Potok

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with an angel and emerged as Israel, “He who struggles.” In the 20th-21st century, Western Jews spend a great amount of energy wrestling with the world of…

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Shtreimels and Spodiks

One of the most distinctive pieces of clothing in the diverse world of Jewish life is the shtreimel, the round fur hat worn by Chassidic men. In the modern world, where the vast majority…

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Re’eh 5769-2009

"The Chosen People–Again!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we once again encounter the challenging concept of the "Chosenness" of Israel. After…

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Toledot 5764-2003

"The Theological Underpinnings of Anti-Semitism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In our previous study of parashat Toledot for the year 5761-2000, we analyzed the ancient origins and…

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