The Torah’s Special Genetic Code

During Biblical times, our ancestors did not understand genetics, DNA codes, chromosomes and the transmission of physical attributes, as we understand them today. While the sages do note…

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Balak 5767-2007

"The Enemy Within" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most intriguing and perplexing patterns found in Scripture is the frequent emergence of evil from good and good from evil. Adam…

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Mishpatim 5778-2018

“Heaven Made Me Do It!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, serves as the basis of the Hebrew system of jurisprudence. It is the fourth most numerous…

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Vayeitzei 5762-2001

"From Ish Tam to Business Mogul: The Transformation of Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, opens, we encounter Jacob as he arrives in…

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Is There Jewish DNA?

Do you remember learning about genes and DNA, about inherited  traits and Gregor Mendel’s pea plants? It has long been known and accepted as scientific fact that each person’s DNA…

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Jewish Genetics

The fact that one’s genetic code is a combination of the DNA one inherits from both mother and  father is a basic lesson of high school biology. According to traditional Jewish…

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Korach 5774-2014

“Aaron Stops the Plague” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the dramatic rebellion of Korach, Datan and Abiram, and their…

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Bereshith 5761-2000

"How to Achieve Immortality the G-dly Way" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald What could be more perfect or more harmonious for the human being, created by G-d, than to reside in the Garden of…

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Bereshith 5760-1999

"How to Achieve Immortality the G-dly Way" Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald What could be more perfect or more harmonious for the human being, created by G-d, than to reside in the Garden of Eden…

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Vayeishev 5764-2003

"The Two Sides of Joseph" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There are few characters in world literature who are as dynamic, charismatic, successful and as enigmatic as the patriarch Joseph.…

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5777-2017

“The Convert and the Second Passover” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, we learn of the fascinating law of פֶּסַח שֵׁנִי --Pesach Shay’nee, the…

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Va’eira 5768-2007

"Moses, the Exalted Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Political campaigns in democratic societies have become a rather sorry sight. Candidates in the U.S. announce their candidacies,…

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Bereshith 5780-2019

How to Achieve Immortality the G-dly Way (Revised and updated from Bereshith 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   What could be more perfect or more harmonious for the human…

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Toledot 5780-2019

“A Lesson from Jacob and Esau: Understanding and Accepting Differences” (Updated and revised from Toledot 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha,…

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Never Judge a Human Book by Its Cover

Genetic traits such as hair color do not determine how individuals behave. Be careful not to stereotype or even make assumptions about people based on their external features.

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Serach’s Seranade

When perusing the list of the generations of Jacob found in Genesis 46, one gets a strange sense that there was a powerful genetic predisposition in Jacob's family for male children.…

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Judge by Actions

When evaluating or judging others, genetic and physical attributes pale in comparison to one’s character and virtuous actions.

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Toledot 5760-1999

"A Lesson from Jacob and Esau: Understanding and Accepting Differences" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we find some of the most fascinating…

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Vayishlach 5781-2020

“The Proper and Improper use of Zealotry” (updated and revised from Vayishlach 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we encounter in…

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Vayishlach 5761-2000

"The Proper and Improper use of Zealotry" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we encounter, in chapter 34, a very painful and distressing story…

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Vayigash 5761-2001

"Joseph Helps His Brothers Repent" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Maimonides, the great Jewish codifier and philosopher (1135 - 1204) writes at the beginning of the second chapter of the Laws…

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Vayakhel 5771-2011

"Straying from Lofty Spiritual Moorings" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayakhel, Moses speaks to the entire nation of Israel and reviews with them the…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5771-2011

"Renewing the Covenant" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, Moses, on the last day of his life, dramatically gathers all the people of…

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Hey Cuz!

Today is celebrated as “Cousins Day.” Those whose parents have siblings, often have many great memories from shared family events, enjoyed in the company of cousins. With access to the…

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Skeptic Questioning

Today, January 13, is National Skeptics Day, a day that encourages people to ask questions. One might be inclined to ask whether Judaism has any room for skepticism, since faith,…

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The Family’s Blood

Today is World Hemophilia Day, designated to raise awareness of the hereditary blood disorder that prevents one’s blood from clotting.  Most forms of hemophilia are passed from…

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How Elvis Was Jewish

Do a websearch on “Jewish Elvis,” and you will be astounded at what you find. Born on January 8, 1935, Elvis Aaron Presley was the great-grandson of Martha Tacket, who is reported to have…

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Serach’s Seranade

When perusing the list of the generations of Jacob found in Genesis 46, one gets a strange sense that there was a powerful genetic predisposition in Jacob's family for male children.…

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The Lemba Connection

The Assyrian conquerors who claimed the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C.E. made it their policy to resettle vanquished nations. By transferring one population to another’s land,…

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Your Mother’s Brother

There’s an old wives’ tale that a man’s hair pattern (i.e. baldness) can be predicted by the hair of his mother’s brother. The genetic veracity of this claim is debatable, but, according…

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