Kee Tisah 5765-2005

"Shabbat as a Priority in Jewish Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although there are many dramatic moments in the latter parts of parashat Kee Tisah, the early parts of the parasha…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001

"Who is Truly Religious?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, are once again double parashiot. Both of these parashiot are chock full of novel…

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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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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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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…

Chayei Sara 5762-2001

"Raising Jewish Children in a Challenging Environment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, begins with the death of Sarah. Less widely known…

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The Hungarian Schism

The history of the Jews of Hungary reads much the same as that of the Jews in other areas of Europe. They were ever at the mercy of the nobility, with their favor waxing and waning…

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Weekend

What are you doing this weekend? Actually, most people take their weekends for granted and forget that the five day work week was a victory won by the labor movement of the early…

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Balak 5764-2004

"How Goodly Are Your Tents O' Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, we read once again of the non-Jewish prophet, Bilaam, who attempts to curse the…

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Korach 5767-2007

"Agonizing Over Collective Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the dramatic events that unfold with the rebellion of Korach and…

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America’s First Synagogue

In 1656, Shearith Israel, the first synagogue was established in the territory that came to be known as the United States. The synagogue, also known as the Spanish and Portuguese…

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Re’eh 5762-2002

"Changing and Updating Jewish Law" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we encounter a fascinating law known in rabbinic literature as Shmitat…

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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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Shoftim 5771-2011

"Jewish Justice & Jewish Leadership" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, opens with a command to the people of Israel to establish courts of justice in…

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Re’eh 5780-2020

Re'eh 5780-2020 “Changing and Updating Jewish Law” (updated and revised from parashat Re’eh 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we encounter a…

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Always (Kosher) Coca Cola!

I’d bet you never heard of the Pemberton Medicine Company! Perhaps you have heard of the company into which it was incorporated on January 15th, 1889? That would be the Coca Cola Company…

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Nitzavim 5765-2005

"The Hidden Things Belong to G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On the final day of his life, Moses gathers all the people of Israel, from the most exalted to the lowliest, old and young,…

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Tzav 5763-2003

"What We Learn from the Jewish 'Caste System'" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Tzav, continues the Torah's description of the sacrificial rite, and…

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Vayeitzei 5776-2015

“Disclosing Personal Information For Shidduch Purposes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, Jacob, who is fleeing from his brother Esau, follows his…

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“Prohibition” and the Jews

Today is “Repeal Day,” referring to the repeal of “Prohibition”, the infamous 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The 18th Amendment went into effect nation-wide on January…

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Green Jews

Aside from Senator Bernie Sanders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield – aka “Ben and Jerry’s” – people normally do not associate the Green Mountain State with Jews. Although some scholars…

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Progress for Women

On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, prohibiting all U.S. states and the Federal government from denying the right to vote to any…

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The Chazon Ish

Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, known as the Chazon Ish, was considered to be one of the most important rabbinic voices in Europe and Israel in the period before World War II and its…

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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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Berlin’s Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary

On May 11, 1820, a child was born in Prussia who would, as a grown man, almost single-handedly change the face of German Jewry. Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer attended yeshiva in Hanover, and…

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How the Hechsher? Is it Kosher?

In addition to enabling the mass production of dry goods, clothing and automobiles, the industrial revolution allowed for the commercial production and distribution of prepared foods.…

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Rabbi Avraham Chaim Naeh

 Many people think of World War I as a European war, but, as its name suggests, the entire world was affected. In Palestine, which was part of the Ottoman Empire at that time, the…

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Kee Tavo 5767-2007

"Can the Promise of G-d Keep the People Holy?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Tavo is one of the two parashiot in the Torah that features the Tochacha, the terrifying…

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Progress For Women

On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, prohibiting all U.S. states and the Federal government from denying the right to vote to any…

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Berlin’s Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary

On May 11, 1820, a child was born in Prussia who, as a grown man, would almost single-handedly change the face of German Jewry. Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer attended yeshiva in Hanover, and…

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