First On The Court

Born in 1856, in Louisville, Kentucky, Louis Dembitz Brandeis was the child of European immigrants who maintained a minimal Jewish identity. However, his maternal uncle, Lewis Dembitz,…

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Sir Moses Montefiore

Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) had an extraordinary impact on the world. Beginning a career in general business, Montefiore quickly gained one of the 12 brokers licenses allowed to…

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Learn the Jewish History of Arizona

Before you travel to or through Arizona, learn its rich Jewish history.

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Dancing on Ice

Competing for artistic and athletic mastery on ice has been part of the fun of winter long before the Winter Olympics, and Jews have often taken part in the joy of ice skating. In…

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The Source of Leadership

Great leaders can move mountains...or at least, masses of people. Ezra the Scribe was just such a leader, and it was his charisma and wisdom that inspired the Jews to leave their…

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Shabbetai Zvi, False Messiah

Born in Smyrna, Turkey, in 1626, Shabbetai Zvi was considered a promising Talmudic scholar who showed strong skills in the study of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). However, he was noted…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5775-2015

"Having Thoughts About False Gods" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, the Torah strictly prohibits Jews…

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Shoftim 5778-2018

"Identifying the True Prophet" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we, once again, encounter the difficult challenge of identifying the true prophet who…

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Re’eh 5764-2004

"Identifying a True Prophet" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, the Torah warns the Jewish people not to follow false prophets. The difficulty with this…

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American Archivist

Selma Stern-Taeubler (1890-1981) was a natural achiever. Not only was this doctor’s daughter the first woman to be accepted to Baden-Baden’s Gymnasium in Germany, she even graduated from…

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Mitzvah With A Shovel

The Jewish customs surrounding death, burial and mourning are intended to provide both respect for the departed and comfort for the mourners. One such custom that may seem startling or…

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Bereshith 5770-2009

"The Hebrew Story of Creation and Its Parallels Among Other Civilizations" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Bereishith, is the very first parasha of Genesis, the…

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Matot-Masei 5760-2000

"Jeremiah's Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, this coming week's parashiot will be doubled, and we will be reading both…

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Matot-Masei 5779-2019

“Jeremiah’s Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times” (Revised and updated from Matot-Masei 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This Shabbat, when parashiot Matot…

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The Second Commandment

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor any manner of likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, that is in the earth beneath, or…

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Noah 5763-2002

"The Story of Noah--Fact or Fantasy?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Noach, the famous "Flood story," is a truly intriguing portion. Academic and…

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Noah 5762-2001

"The 'Myth' of the Great Flood" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Noah, the story of the flood, is a truly intriguing Torah portion. Secular scholars speak of the story of the flood…

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Va’etchanan 5774-2014

“The Prediction of Return” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, is always read after the Fast of the 9th of Av and after the conclusion of the period…

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“If It Walks Like A Duck…”

There is a famous statement attributed to the American writer James Whitcomb Riley (1849 – 1916) that asserts: “When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks…

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“If It Walks Like A Duck…”

There is a famous statement attributed to the American writer James Whitcomb Riley (1849 – 1916) that asserts: "When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks…

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Kedoshim 5768-2008

"Establishing a Truly Ethical Society: Honesty in Business" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kedoshim is renowned for its many revolutionary ethical pronouncements. It is surely…

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Art for Art’s Sake

If there were a Cliff Notes version of the Ten Commandments, Commandment #2 would simply read: “You shall have no other Gods before me.” But, in truth, the commandment itself is more…

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Vayeitzei 5766-2005

"Deceit, More Deceit and Teraphim" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, recounts the entire 20 year sojourn of Jacob in the house of Laban. After meeting…

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Vayeitzei 5768-2007

"How Dare You Accuse Me!" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald After working 20 years for Laban, Jacob and his wives decide that it is time to leave Laban and his family. They see no future for…

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Behar-Bechukotai, Yom Yerushalayim 5772-2012

"Living Outside the Land of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Behar, the first of this week’s double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we learn of the special relationship that…

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Vayishlach 5775-2014

“She Called His Name ‘Ben Oni’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob, after many years of separation, finally reunites with his long-estranged…

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Kee Tisah 5778-2018

Safeguarding the Covenant by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, focuses primarily on the sin of the Golden Calf and Moses' successful invocation of…

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Va’eira 5772-2012

“The Decline and Collapse of the Egyptian Magicians” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’eira, we learn of the first seven plagues that strike the Egyptians.…

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Bereshith 5772-2011

“The Fall of Man” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Starting with this week’s parasha, parashat Bereshith, synagogues around the globe begin the annual cycle of reading the Torah, the Five…

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Balak 5772-2012

“Balaam, the Sorcerer, Becomes a Prophet” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, we read of how Balak, the Moabite king, hired the pagan prophet, Balaam, to…

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