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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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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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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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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The Prophet’s Speech

Last night's big Oscar winner was The King's Speech, the true tale of how King George VI learned to overcome his stutter before ascending the throne after his older brother's abdication.…

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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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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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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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Shoftim 5763-2003

"Astrology, Witchcraft and Spiritualism in Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Shoftim, the Torah describes the vital role of the prophet. Moses…

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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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Pinchas 5780-2020

“The Pain of Giving Reproof” (Updated and revised from Parashat Pinchas 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On Thursday, July 9th, Jews the world over will observe the fast of Shivah…

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Pinchas 5761-2001

"The Pain of Giving Reproof" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On Sunday, July 8th, Jews the world over observed the fast of Shivah Asar B'Tamuz, the Seventeenth day of Tamuz. The fast marks…

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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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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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Vayeira 5767-2006

"Choosing The Right Neighbors" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeira, we learn that after 23 years of residing in the area of Elonei Mamrei near Hebron…

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Vayeira 5763-2002

"Sodom: The Home of Institutionalized Evil" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Sodom? There are, after all, many places in the world,…

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Noah 5771-2010

“Man’s Struggle with Evil” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Noah, we learn much about man’s ongoing struggle with evil. As the parasha opens, the Torah…

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Impeachment and the Jewish Tradition

On February 24, 1868, a U.S. president was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time. Three months later, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson. 35…

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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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Tzav 5780-2020

“Behold, I am Sending You Elijah the Prophet” (Revised and update from Tzav 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   On this coming Shabbat, the Shabbat of Erev Pesach, we…

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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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Kinnot

KinnotMany devastating events took place on the 9th of Av. This is why the Jewish people consider it the saddest day on the…

Pinchas 5771-2011

"'Pinchas'--What’s in a Name?" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn that G-d praises Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the Priest, for…

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Va’eira 5774-2013

“Moses, the Reluctant Prophet” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Tradition maintains that the 53 Hebrew prophets and prophetesses were generally a reluctant group of Divine servants, who were…

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