Explore the Vast Literature of the Oral Tradition

The Oral Tradition, that accompanied the written Law, possesses a wide array of opinions, accounts and views. Explore the Oral Tradition: You never know what you will learn!

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Both Oral and Written

The development of the printing press had an incredible impact on Western civilization. Prior to the printing press, all documents were hand-written, limiting their dissemination and…

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Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried and the Abridged Code of Law

When rabbinic authorities make halachic (Jewish legal) rulings, they generally consult the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law), a compendium of halacha written in 1563 by Rabbi Joseph…

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The Torah’s Special Genetic Code

During Biblical times, our ancestors did not understand genetics, DNA codes, chromosomes and the transmission of physical attributes, as we understand them today. While the sages do note…

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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…

Va’etchanan 5779-2019

“The Torah’s Radical Approach to Parenting” (Revised and updated from Va’etchanan 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This past Saturday evening (August 10th) and Sunday…

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Shoftim 5765-2005

"The Extent of Rabbinic Authority" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, 41 new Torah laws--14 positive and 27 negative mitzvot--are introduced.…

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Emor 5774-2014

“The Sadducees and the Counting of the Omer” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 63 mitzvot (24 positive and 39 negative) found in this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, is the mitzvah of…

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The Babylonian Talmud Completed

Around 200 C.E., Rabbi Judah Ha’Nasi (Judah the Prince) completed his great work of Jewish law, the Mishnah. Although Jewish tradition, for close to 1,500 years, forbade the writing of…

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The Babylonian Talmud Completed

Around the year 200 C.E., Rabbi Judah Ha’Nasi (Judah the Prince) completed editing his great work of Jewish law, the Mishnah. Although Jewish tradition, for close to 1,500 years, forbade…

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Va’etchanan 5760-2000

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Parenting" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Wednesday evening (August 9) and Thursday (August 10), we will observe Tisha B'Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av,…

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Matot-Masei 5762-2002

"Does the Torah Allow Its Citizens to Take the Law Into Their Own Hands?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Masei, the second of this week's double parashiot, Matot-Masei, we…

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Chayei Sarah 5771-2010

“What Shall I Do, My Parents Hate Him?!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we encounter the world’s first shidduch (arranged marriage) and the…

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Chayei Sarah 5773-2012

"Beware Not to Return My Son There!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn that Abraham, who is well-on in years, is deeply concerned about…

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Eikev 5779-2019

Eikev 5779-2019 “Feast or Famine--What Judaism Says About Food” (Revised and updated from Eikev 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, the…

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Ahhh…Cholent

The highlight of many Shabbat lunch tables is cholent, a hot stew which simmers overnight in a crockpot, on the stove or in the oven. Known also as chamim by many…

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Ahh…Cholent!

The highlight of many Shabbat lunch tables is cholent, a hot stew which simmers overnight in a crockpot, on the stove or in the oven. Known also as chamim by many Sephardim, cholent is…

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Kee Teitzei 5774-2014

“Restoring Lost Possessions--Revisited” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 74 commandments (47 negative and 27 positive) that are found in parashat Kee Teitzei is the mitzvah of…

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Eikev 5760-2000

"Feast or Famine - What Judaism Has to Say About Food" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Eikev, the Torah dwells in part on the specialness of food. In…

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Korach 5779-2019

“Controversy Versus Conflict” (Revised and updated from Korach 5760-2000) by  Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Korach, tells of the ill-fated controversy between…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5778-2018

“The Extreme Sanctity of the Holy of Holies--Revisited” In parashat Acharei Mot, the first of this week’s double parashiyot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, we learn of the prohibition to enter the…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5778-2018

“Torah From Sinai” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of parashat Behar, the first of this week’s combined parashiyot, Behar and Bechukotai, speak of the laws of Shemitah,…

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Mishpatim 5781-2021

“‘An Eye for an Eye’ in Jewish Law” (updated and revised from Mishpatim 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, the Torah introduces the…

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Bechukotai 5779-2019

“The Big ‘IF.’ The Gift of Free Choice” (Revised and updated from Bechukotai 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This coming week’s parasha, parashat Bechukotai, is one of the…

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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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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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Bechukotai 5760-2000

"The Big 'IF': The Question of Free Choice" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Bechukotai, is one of the two parashiot of the Torah that are known as the…

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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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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5777-2017

“Inspiring the Next Generation” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Vayeilech, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, we read, what is to my mind, one of the…

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Mishpatim 5767-2007

"The Hebrew Maidservant is Alive and Well" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat Misphatim (literally, "laws"), G-d sets much of the structure of Jewish civil…

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