Cruel and Unusual Punishment

One of the most repeated instructions in the Torah is that judges must do everything possible to provide equitable justice. In Deuteronomy 1, Moses reiterated this point once again,…

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Reward and Punishment

While the existence of Divine reward and punishment is one of the primary tenets of Jewish faith, the question always arises: Why do the righteous suffer and the wicked appear to…

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Fear Your Mother

"Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12) is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. It is at the very heart of Judaism and is a mitzvah that straddles the twin aspects of Judaism:…

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Fear Your Mother?

"Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12) is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. It is at the very heart of Judaism and is a mitzvah that straddles the twin aspects of Judaism:…

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Fear Your Mother?

"Honor your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12) is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. It is at the very heart of Judaism and is a mitzvah that straddles the twin aspects of Judaism:…

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Fear Not

In order to overcome one's fears, one must first acknowledge them.

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Never Fear

Don't worry about not getting accolades for a good deed; we often forget that these, too, are recorded above.

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Tzav 5767-2007

"Karayt--The Dreaded Heavenly Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Warning: This week's Dvar Torah is not for the fainthearted. In this week's parasha, parashat Tzav, the Al-mighty…

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Eikev 5768-2008

"Fear and Reverence of G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, in parashat Eikev, Moses stresses to the Jewish people that notwithstanding their improprieties, G-d's love for His…

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Fearing God

“The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge...” (Proverbs 1:7)The idea of “fearing God” carries with it overtones of fire and brimstone, a puritanical flavor that seems foreign to our…

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Fearing God

“The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge...” (Proverbs 1:7) The idea of “fearing God” carries with it overtones of fire and brimstone, a puritanical flavor that seems foreign to our…

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Vayeira 5777-2016

“There is But No Fear of G-d in this Place” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, Abraham relives the trauma of his wife’s abduction in Egypt when he…

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Shemot 5773-2012

“The Role of Exile in Jewish History” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, the book of Exodus opens with the story of the people of Israel’s enslavement…

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Vayigash 5769-2008

"Deferred Punishment for the Sale of Joseph" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph dramatically reveals himself to his brothers and reconciles…

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Chukat 5765-2005

"Moses gets Battered by the Commentaries" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the sin of May Meriva, Waters of Rebellion, where both…

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Mishpatim 5772-2012

"Capital Punishment: Revenge or Restitution?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With fifty-three commandments--thirty negative and twenty-three positive, parashat Mishpatim ranks fourth among…

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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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Yitro 5773-2013

"The Third Commandment: Against Perjury and Profane Swearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, we encounter the first of the two references to the Ten…

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Mishpatim 5775-2015

“Injuring a Fellow Human Being” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 63 mitzvot that are found in this week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, are the fundamental laws regarding personal…

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Mikeitz 5769-2008

"Measure for Measure" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In ancient civilizations, it was not uncommon for legal systems to practice what is known as Lex Talionis, an eye for an eye or measure for…

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Eikev 5763-2003

"Is There Truth to the Notion of Spiritual Accountability?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Eikev, contains the well-known second paragraph of the…

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Vayeitzei 5770-2009

"Punishment Awaits the Evildoers" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we read of the deception of Jacob by his father-in-law, Laban. Jacob, of course,…

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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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“Snakes, Why Did it Have to Be Snakes?”

Ophidiophobia is the fear of snakes. This is one of the most common phobias, and, in fact, it is so common and apparently instinctual that scientists have even taken to studying why this…

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Shelach 5777-2017

“The Slave Mentality” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, we read of G-d’s shattering decree that the generation of Israelites who came out of Egypt…

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Emor 5772-2012

"Lessons from a Priest’s Wanton Daughter" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Emor, highlights the special status of the Kohanim, the priests, in the community of…

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Mishpatim 5764-2004

"The Al-mighty's Concern for the Dignity of the Human Being" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have previously noted, Parashat Mishpatim essentially establishes the structure of…

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Korach 5769-2009

"A Controversy with an Ignoble Purpose" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the rebellion that Korach led against Moses, Aaron and G-d.…

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Cut Off

"...Be as scrupulous in performing a 'minor' mitzvah as a 'major' one, for you do not know the reward given for the respective mitzvot. Calculate the...reward of a sin against its cost"…

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Cut Off

"...Be as scrupulous in performing a 'minor' mitzvah as a 'major' one, for you do not know the reward given for the respective mitzvot. Calculate the...reward of a sin against its cost"…

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