The Chassidim of Ger

While the Holocaust destroyed numerous chassidic communities, some of the surviving sects maintained their significance and impact after the war. Such was the case of the Ger Chassidim.…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5770-2010

"Making a Reckoning" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Behar, the first of this week's double parashiot-– Behar-Bechukotai, the Torah teaches a remarkable law intended to protect…

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Resident Alien

Perhaps you are familiar with the Hebrew term “ger,” derived from the Hebrew term “lagoor” - to dwell or sojourn. While ger is often translated as stranger, it is also the Hebrew term for…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5761-2001

"The Torah's Attitude Towards Converts" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, parashat Beha'alotecha, continues the narrative of the Jew's wanderings in the…

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Sources Commentators

Abarbanel (1437-1508, Spanish statesman, philosopher and commentator) Achad Ha’Am (Asher Zvi Hirsh Ginsberg, 1856-1927) AJOP (Association for Jewish Outreach Programs) Akeidat Yitzchak…

B’ha’a’lot’cha 5780-2020

The Torah’s Attitude toward Converts (Revised and Updated from Parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald. This coming week’s Torah portion, parashat…

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Kee Tavo 5760-2000

"Welcoming the Stranger" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, opens with the ritual of bringing the Bikurim, the first fruits of the season, to the…

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Bo 5772-2012

"The Plague of Darkness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we learn of the eighth, ninth and tenth of the ten plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of…

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Eikev 5772-2012

"Loving the Stranger" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, the Torah boldly pronounces the positive mitzvah of loving the stranger. In Deuteronomy 10:19,…

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Kee Tisah 5777-2017

“The Gift of Torah"   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, the Torah reports that G-d gave Moses two stone Tablets of Testimony that were…

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Kee Tavo 5779-2019

“Welcoming the Stranger” (Revised and updated from Kee Tavo 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo,opens with the ritual of bringing בִּכּוּרִים…

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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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The Hijacked Sage

Born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1906, Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner was raised in a family that had roots in both the world of Chassidut (Ger) and Lithuanian Jewry. After receiving a private…

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Abraham ben Abraham

Legend has it that Valentine Pototski, the son of a Polish nobleman, met an old Jew at a tavern and promised to convert to Judaism if the Jew convincingly argued the superiority of…

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Vayeishev 5763-2002

"Judah Emerges as the Leader of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, Vayeishev, presents the opening chapter of one of the great human sagas--the story of Joseph and…

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Vayigash 5762-2001

"The Virtues of Assimilation" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, the dramatic story of Joseph and his brothers comes to a rousing conclusion.…

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Kee Tavo 5769-2009

"Stretch Those Face Muscles!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, we find the fascinating portion regarding the giving of Bikurim, the season's first…

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Toledot 5763-2002

"The Deeds of the Fathers are Signposts for the Children" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we read, for the third time, the story of our…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5770-2010

"Loving Thy Neighbor" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week's double parashiot -- Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, we read the famous, indeed, revolutionary…

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Mishpatim 5768-2008

"Showing Sensitivity to the Helpless and the Downtrodden" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 53 mitzvot that are found in parashat Mishpatim (23 positive and 30 negative) are a series…

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Matot 5768-2008

"Striving for Refined Speech" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Matot, we learn of the laws that govern vows and oaths, known in Hebrew as nedarim and…

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Re’eh 5771-2011

"Listening to the Message" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, Moses continues his exhortation to the Jewish people, imploring them to remain faithful to…

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5775-2015

“Hubris Revisited” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, G-d tells Moses to instruct Aaron concerning the lighting of the Menorah, the seven…

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Completing the Cycle of Talmud

In August 1923, weeks before the High Holidays, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, dean of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland, proposed that the entire Jewish world study a daily folio of Talmud (a…

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Sarah’s Whereabouts Determine Jewish Law

Parashat Vayeira begins with Avraham convalescing after his circumcision. Unexpectedly, he sees three “visitors,” whom the Midrash identifies as angels, come toward his home. Excited to…

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Vayeishev 5766-2005

"The Vast Majority of the Time, G-d Rules the World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Unbeknownst to all of the characters who play significant roles in parashat Vayeishev, G-d is diligently…

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Vayechi 5761-2001

"Revealing the Time of the Coming of the End of Days" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, is the only "sealed" parasha in the Torah, meaning that there are…

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Va’eira 5770-2010

"Shortness of Breath and Hard Works" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Va'eira, opens with the Al-mighty's very moving declaration to Moses regarding His…

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Naso 5764-2004

"Our Brother, Our Sister--the Proselyte" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Naso, we learn of an interesting law concerning a person who takes possession of…

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Sarah’s Whereabouts Determine Jewish Law

Parashat Vayeira begins with Abraham convalescing after his circumcision. Unexpectedly, he sees three “visitors,” whom the Midrash identifies as angels, come toward his home. Excited to…

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