In West Virginia

West Virginia, which became a state on this day in 1863 after breaking away from the more southernly aligned State of Virginia, is not generally thought of as a state with a wealth of…

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Kee Tisah 5766-2006

"The Role of Aaron and the Golden Calf" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The central focus of this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, is the episode of the Golden Calf. Moses had ascended…

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Chukat 5768-2008

"The Death of Aaron" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the death of Aaron, the High Priest of Israel. Numbers 20:20-29 relates that the…

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Vayishlach 5769-2008

"What's in a Name?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Parashat Vayishlach seems to be a virtual endurance test for poor Jacob. In this parasha, Jacob at last encounters his brother Esau who has…

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Kee Tisah 5774-2014

“Moses Argues with G-d to Save the Jewish People from Destruction” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, features the tragic saga of the Golden Calf, and…

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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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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…

Vayishlach 5762-2001

"Yisrael: the People Who Wrestle with G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after twenty years with Laban, we find Jacob on his way to…

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Kee Teitzei 5762-2002

"Transforming an Enemy Into a Friend" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This past Thursday and Friday marked Rosh Chodesh Elul, the beginning of the new month of Elul, the month that leads in…

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Opulent on the Outside Only

Dressed in fancy clothes with silver buttons and a hat of golden fur, Rabbi Israel Friedman (1797-1850) of Rhuzin was a unique figure among the chassidic leaders. He surrounded himself…

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Chukat-Balak 5769-2009

"The Ultimate Value of Human Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On this Shabbat, throughout the diaspora, a double Torah portion, Chukat-Balak, is read. In Israel, however, only the…

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Hebrew Reading Crash Course Bonus Class

Hebrew Reading Crash CourseBonus ClassWelcome to NJOP’s Bonus Class for Read Hebrew America’s Hebrew Reading Crash…

Bentching/Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals

Birkat HaMazonGrace After MealsBentching How easy it is, when we are wanting, to ask G-d for the food, to remember our “please…

Vayechi 5773-2012

"The Patriarch Jacob Did Not Die!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s Torah portion, parashat Vayechi, the patriarch Jacob, passes away at age 147. The Torah, in Genesis 49:33,…

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Korach 5773-2013

"The Rebellion Against the Lonely Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the infamous rebellion of Korach, who together with Dathan and…

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Sing the Songs of Shabbat

Music is said to raise a person’s spirit (Berachot 57b), and there is no time more appropriate for joyousness than Shabbat, the day of rest. To honor Shabbat, and to bring it more…

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The Blessings of the Amidah: Shalom

The nineteen blessings of the Amidah make up the core of the Jewish prayer service. The theme of the final blessing is peace. The Hebrew word for peace, shalom, is related to the Hebrew…

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The Blessings of the Amidah: Accept Our Prayers

The nineteen blessings of the Amidah make up the core of the Jewish prayer service. The seventeenth blessing begins the final section of the Amidah, the section in which we express our…

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Sing the Songs of Shabbat

Music is said to raise a person’s spirit (Berachot 57b), and there is no time more appropriate for joyousness than Shabbat, the day of rest. To honor Shabbat, and to bring it more…

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Watch What You Say

One of the greatest figures in early-twentieth century Jewish life was a modest rabbi known as the “Chofetz Chaim” (Translation: He who desires life), in honor of his first published…

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Haazinu 5760-1999

"The Final Song" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Haazinu, contains the final song which Moshe sings before his death. This is the song to which Moshe alluded in…

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Shemot 5770-2010

"In Those Days, In These Times" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This message may be a little late, but there seem to be strong parallels between the story of the enslavement of the Jews in…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5763-2003

"Choosing Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There's something very distinctive about the arrival of the Jewish New Year. Whenever the Jewish High Holiday season draws near there's always…

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Vayishlach 5760-1999

"The Massacre of Shechem, Can it be Justified?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach commences, Jacob prepares for the fateful confrontation with his…

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B’shalach 5769-2009

"Pharaoh Sends the People of Israel out of Egypt" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat B'shalach opens with a well-known verse describing Israel's dramatic exodus from Egypt. The Bible,…

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Tetzaveh 5763-2003

"The Primacy of Jewish Education" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week's parasha, parashat Terumah, we read of the appeal for donations to build the Tabernacle--the portable…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5770-2010

"Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, parashat Pekudei, we read that after many days, weeks and months of…

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Bamidbar 5769-2009

"Bringing Order to the Camp of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, the people of Israel are instructed to build a camp in the wilderness. G-d…

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Eikev 5771-2011

"Finding the Greatness of G-d in His Humility" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, Moses continues his valedictory address to the Jewish people. In one of the most powerful…

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Kee Tisah 5772-2012

"The Preeminence of Shabbat" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we learn, among other things, of the preeminence of Shabbat, the Sabbath Day.…

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