The Rosenberg Trial

In the early 1950s, the cold war brought to the limelight what appeared to be the vilest case of national espionage. At the center of this whirlwind was a middle-age Jewish couple, Ethel…

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Remembering the Akeida

In neither of the two Torah references to the holiday of Rosh Hashana (Leviticus 23:23-25, Numbers 29:1), is there a specific mention of the shofar, the ram's horn. Only…

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Remembering the Akeida

In neither of the two Torah references to the holiday of Rosh Hashana (Leviticus 23:23-25, Numbers 29:1), is there a specific mention of the shofar, the ram's horn. Only…

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Vayeira 5762-2001

"The Akeida" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald After four years of preparing d'vrei Torah on the weekly parasha, I've finally decided to bite the bullet and discuss the challenging issue of…

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Vayeira 5776-2015

“The Trials of Abraham” by Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, includes at least three of the ten trials that Abraham faced during his life. Pirkei Avot, Ethics of…

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Prepare for the Final Celebratory Days of Passover

The seventh day of Passover, which begins tonight, recalls the splitting of the Sea of Reeds which is tomorrow’s Torah reading. We also read Shir Hashirim. In honor of the beginning of…

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The Blessings Over Food: The Final-Blessing Bo’ray Ne’fah’shoat

The mitzvah of making a blessing after food is a direct Torah commandment. “You will eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you”…

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Neilah: The Final Service

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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Neilah: The Final Service

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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Neilah: The Final Service

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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Neilah: The Final Service

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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Neilah: The Final Serevice

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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Neilah: The Final Serevice

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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Prepare for the Final Celebratory Days of Passover

The Seventh day of Pesach recalls the splitting of the Red Sea. Attend synagogue services where the Torah reading describes this miraculous event.

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Final Day

The Festival of Chanukah is over tonight at sunset. Add a festive activity to your day to remind yourself that it is still a holiday.

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The Final Analysis

After the soul departs, it journeys to the gates of heaven where it must present its case for entry. The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) states, “When an individual is brought before the Heavenly…

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The Final Analysis

After the soul departs, it journeys to the gates of heaven where it must present its case for entry. The Talmud (Shabbat 31a) states, “In the hour when an individual is brought before the…

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Lech Lecha 5773-2012

"To the Land that I Will Show You" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, G-d instructs Abram (his name had not yet been changed to Abraham), to begin…

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The Dreyfus Affair

The Dreyfus Affair is a story of intrigue and espionage, false accusations and hidden biases. It was also a demonstration that the so-called “enlightened” world of the late 19th century…

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The Jewish Reveille

The first day of the Hebrew month of Elul, just two days away, brings with it a few changes to the prayer service, one of which is the blowing of the shofar every morning (except Shabbat…

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Vayeira 5779-2018

“The Tension Between Human Love and Divine Will”   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, we find two important stories that reflect on the…

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Mishpatim 5777-2017

“Majority Rule " This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, is one of the most content-rich parashiot in the entire Torah. Mishpatim, which literally means “laws” or “rules,” serves as the…

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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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A Crime of Stalin

In 1981, PEN International (an organization of poets, essayists and novelists advocating for freedom of expression and human rights) declared November 15 as the Day of the Imprisoned…

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Judge Fairly

The Sixth Amendment in the United States’ Bill of Rights (requiring a speedy trial, impartial jury, confrontation of witnesses, council, etc) is, perhaps, one of the most difficult to…

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Judge Fairly

The Sixth Amendment in the United States’ Bill of Rights (requiring a speedy trial, impartial jury, confrontation of witnesses, council, etc) is, perhaps, one of the most difficult to…

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Henry Ford’s Anti-Semitism

In 1919, Henry Ford, already a famous industrialist, purchased the Dearborn Independent (The Ford International Weekly) newspaper and used the paper as a vehicle to spread his…

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The Father of Political Zionism

Theodor Herzl (Vienna, Austria 1860-1904) was 35 years old when he realized that European society would never see Jews as anything other than foreigners. An assimilated journalist, Herzl…

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Shoftim 5769-2009

"The Torah Declares War on Bribery" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, we again encounter the Torah's emphatic injunction against taking bribes.…

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“Kafkaesque”

Franz Kafka was born into a Jewish family on July 3, 1883 near the Old Town Square in Prague, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz was the eldest of six children (two tragically died in…

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