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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Work on Interpersonal Relationships

While it is always worthwhile to work on, and try to improve, our relationships, we are in a calendrical period where introspection is particularly relevant and valuable.

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Cherish Your Relationships

Make sure to schedule time to talk to those people who are most important in your life. Emailing and social media contact will not sustain the relationship without one-on-one…

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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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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5764-2004

"The Jewish Attitude Toward Sexuality" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Both of this week's parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, contain extensive instructions regarding forbidden marriages…

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Mishpatim 5767-2007

"The Hebrew Maidservant is Alive and Well" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat Misphatim (literally, "laws"), G-d sets much of the structure of Jewish civil…

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Bereshith-Simchat Torah 5766-2005

"P'roo Ur'voo--Jewish Attitudes Towards Procreation" Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald For some parents, the greatest gift in life is having children. For other parents, the greatest challenge, is…

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Eikev 5764-2004

"Battling the Contemporary Abominations" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Eikev, Moses once again encourages the people of Israel to put their faith in G-d.…

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Metzorah 5760-2000

"The Ultimate Value and Sanctity of Human Life in Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Metzorah, is often combined with last week's parasha, parashat…

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Metzorah 5779-2019

“The Ultimate Value and Sanctity of Human Life in Judaism” (Revised and updated from Metzorah 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Metzorah, continues the…

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Mishpatim 5776-2016

“Jewish Women and Conjugal Rights” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, we learn the remarkable law of the Hebrew maidservant, known in Hebrew as,…

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Yitro 5762-2002

"Structural Secrets of the Decalogue" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we encounter the Aseret Ha'dibrot, the Ten Commandments.…

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Yitro 5781-2021

“Structural Secrets of the Decalogue” (updated and revised from Yitro 5762-2002) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald     In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we…

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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…

Lech Lecha – 5760-1999

"Understanding the Rite of Circumcision" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Toward the end of this coming week's parasha, parashat Lech L'Cha, we read of the covenant of circumcision, Brit…

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Lech Lecha 5780-2019

“Understanding the Ritual of Circumcision” (updated and revised from Lech Lecha 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   Toward the end of this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha,…

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Shelach 5774-2014

“Do Not Follow After the Desires of Your Heart and Eyes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald While the major theme of parashat Shelach concerns the scouts who return from the Land of Israel with…

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Behar 5779-2019

“Wronging One Another, the Torah’s Unique Viewpoint” (Revised and updated from Behar 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Behar, we twice…

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Vayishlach 5764-2003

"Who Was Esau?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, reaches a crescendo with the dramatic encounter between Jacob and Esau. Jacob has been away from…

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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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Metzorah 5763-2003

"The Nidah--Affirming the Value of the Sanctity of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Towards the end of this week's parasha, parashat Metzorah, we learn the laws of the Zav, the Baal…

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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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Behar 5760-2000

"Wronging One Another: The Torah's Unique Viewpoint" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Behar, we twice encounter the mitzvah of o'na'ah – the prohibition…

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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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Tazria-Metzorah 5761-2001

"Challenging the Stereotypes: Purity and Impurity in Childbirth" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the first of the this coming week's double parashiot, Tazria-Mezorah, we encounter one of…

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Kedoshim 5771-2011

“Judaism’s Radical Notion of Holiness” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most profound statements in the Torah is found in the opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5780-2020

“Challenging the Stereotypes: Purity and Impurity in Childbirth” (edited and revised from Parashiot Tazria-Metzorah 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In the first of…

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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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