Why Am I Not Interested in Idols?

There is an interesting dialogue between the elders of Rome and the sages of Israel recorded in Talmud Avodah Zarah 55a:  [Rome]: "If [your God] has no desire for idolatry, why does…

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When Funerals Are Forbidden

Any man who is a patrilineal descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses, is deemed to be a kohain, a member of the priestly family of Israel. Aaron and his sons were called upon by God to…

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Eikev 5778-2018

“Contemporary Idolatry”   In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, Moses, just days before his demise, continues his final oration to the People of Israel, and conveys his message of…

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Re’eh 5773-2013

"How Far Must We Go to Avoid Evil?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we learn of the Biblical command that the People of Israel must destroy all…

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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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Abraham in the Idol Shop

According to Jewish tradition,  Abram was very young when he came to the conclusion that the world had One Creator. Although it is often said that Abraham discovered monotheism, the…

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Rachel’s Curse

Reward and punishment are complicated concepts. Suffice it to say that Divine intervention in the world is often through seemingly mundane acts. For instance, the Torah describes the…

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Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av The saddest day in the Jewish calendar, believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy.  Guide…

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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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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Mishpatim 5774-2014

“Oh’na’ah–Taking Unfair Advantage of the Weak” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, contains 53 of the 613 commandments, 30 negative commandments and 23…

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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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Shoftim 5775-2015

“Idolatrous Trees and Unqualified Judges” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we learn of the prohibition of planting forbidden trees and erecting…

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Kedoshim 5776-2016

“Tattoos" In Parashat Kedoshim the Torah proclaims the prohibition of making cuts on one’s skin as a sign of mourning and forbids drawing permanent tattoos on the body. Scripture, in…

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Mikeitz 5778-2017

“Returning the Stolen Goblet to Joseph”   In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, the confrontation between Joseph and his brethren reaches its peak when Joseph’s steward accuses…

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Vayeira 5769-2008

"'Shalom Bayit', Little White Lies" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Vayeira, Abraham receives the stunning news from the three "guests" whom he has welcomed into his home, that…

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Balak 5771-2011

"Taking the Law Into One’s Own Hand" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the conclusion of this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, we learn that after Bilaam’s failed attempts to curse the…

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Vayikra 5777-2017

“רֵיחַ נִיחוֹחַ --A Sweet Savor unto the L-rd” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week's parasha, parashat Vayikra, we begin reading the third book of the Torah, Vayikra, which is…

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Kee Teitzei 5779-2019

“Polygamy, Illegitimacy and Punishing the Innocent” (Revised and updated from Kee Teitzei 5760-2000)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei,…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5781-2021

“Shaatnez: Understanding ‘Irrational’ Decrees” (updated and revised from Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, this week, we have double…

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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

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Acharei Mot 5760-2000

"The Forbidden Relationships Work Both Ways" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In Chapter 18 of this coming week's parasha, Parashat Acharei Mot, we encounter, in a very forceful manner, the…

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Acharei Mot 5779-2019

“The Forbidden Relationships Work Both Ways” (Revised and updated from Acharei Mot 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Acharei Mot, we…

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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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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

Read More

The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

Read More

The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

Read More

The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

Read More

The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

Read More