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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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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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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The Talmud And The Popes

If the Torah is the heart of the Jewish people, then the Talmud is the spine--without either one, the Jewish people could not survive. But while the Talmud is essential for Jewish life,…

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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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Completing the Cycle of Talmud

In August 1923, weeks before the High Holidays, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, dean of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland, proposed that the entire Jewish world study a daily folio of Talmud (a…

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Study the Talmud!

With dozens of resources online, including translations of the Talmud into multiple languages, studying that ancient text has never been more accessible.

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Study the Talmud

Devote time this Shabbat to studying the Talmud knowing that there's a Jastrow Dictionary if you need clarification along the way.

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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…

To Jew and Jew and Jew

Judaism is both a religion and a nationality. The Talmud teaches us (Shavuot 39a) “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh,” that all Jews are responsible (literally “guarantors”) for one another.…

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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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Wish both Jews and Non-Jews a Happy and Successful Jewish New Year

On Rosh Hashana we celebrate the creation of the first human being. While only Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana, it is an important anniversary for all humankind.

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And You Shall Teach

Do you know the phone numbers of all of your siblings and your three closest friends? Since the advent of the PDA (personal digital assistant), and perhaps even since the beginning of…

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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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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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Brotherly and Sisterly Love on Tisha B’av

The theme of “unconditional love” can be found in the Tisha B’Av kinnot, as the ideal that was absent during our history’s lowest moments. In kinnah number 26, the author, Elazar HaKalir,…

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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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Nice and Simple

It is a fairly well-known fact that there is a traditional Jewish dress code. For many people, that concept - “traditional Jewish dress” - may bring to mind scenes of Fiddler on the Roof;…

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Can the Theory of Evolution and God Co-Exist?

On this “Darwin Day,” commemorating the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809, we address the issue of Darwin’s own belief in God, given his authorship of the famed Theory of…

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The Birth and Death of Moses

One of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides is believing that Moses was the greatest of all the Jewish prophets. He was so great, that God feared he would be…

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The Birth and Death of Moses

One of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides is believing that Moses was the greatest of all the Jewish prophets. He was so great, that God feared he would be worshipped…

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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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Her Son Hur, His Grandson, and His Actions!

On the 15th of Tammuz, we observe the yahrzeit (anniversary of the day of death) of Hur, a relatively unsung hero from Biblical times, who was the first Jew to die al Kiddush Hashem,…

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Menashe and Ephraim

Joseph’s two sons, Menashe and Ephraim, are familiar names because (a) they each became the forefather of a tribe when Jacob divided the tribe of Joseph into two tribes, and (b) because…

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Wash and Dry

The miracles of modern science have made us aware of the vast world of micro-organisms that previous generations never knew existed. We now know that there are good bacteria that help us…

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Weights and Measures

The last century has seen the rise, fall and transformation of several major economic-political philosophies (socialism, communism, capitalism). The primary economic philosophy of the…

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Weights and Measures

The last century has seen the rise, fall and transformation of several major economic-political philosophies (socialism, communism, capitalism). The primary economic philosophy of the…

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