The Salty Ghettos

It is a fairly well-known fact (perhaps due to Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice) that Jews in many European cities were forced to reside in ghettos. The first of these areas of restricted…

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

The term “ghetto” has a sad connotation in Jewish history and a very negative association when referring to certain poor urban areas. The term’s etymology, however, originates from a…

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Vayigash 5764-2003

"The Secret of Jewish Survival in Exile?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayigash, the exciting story of Joseph and his brothers draws to a conclusion. Joseph instructs his…

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Shemot 5761-2001

"The Not-So-Obvious Process of Enslavement" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shemot, we begin our annual encounter with the story of the Egyptian…

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Shemot 5781-2021

“The Not-So-Obvious Process of Hebrew Enslavement” (revised and updated from parashat Shemot 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we…

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Kee Tisah 5765-2005

"Shabbat as a Priority in Jewish Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although there are many dramatic moments in the latter parts of parashat Kee Tisah, the early parts of the parasha…

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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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Living Among Other Jews

While anti-Semitic forces often mandated Jews to live in ghettos, there were times in Jewish history when Jews opted to live in separate, concentrated Jewish communities. Living among…

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Balak 5770-2010

"A Nation that Dwells Alone" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, Balak, the king of Moab, retains the services of the renowned gentile prophet, Bilaam, to…

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Shemot 5779-2018

“Getting the Jews Out of Egypt-–Two Views” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we read of the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt by Pharaoh, as well as the…

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A Historical Overview of Jews in Morocco

Jews have lived in Morocco for thousands of years. Jewish nomadic tribes integrated into all aspects of Moroccan life even before the Mohammedan conquest of Morocco, which occurred in the…

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The Jews of Crete and the Purim of Candia

The  Jewish presence on the Island of Crete is rather ancient, with records of a Jewish community in Crete going as far back as the early Roman Empire. Living under the rule of the…

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Yitro 5766-2006

"Sanctify Them, Today and Tomorrow" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Yitro, we read of the great Divine Revelation that took place at Mt. Sinai in the year…

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Tzav 5761 – 2001

"Behold I am sending you Elijah the Prophet" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On this coming Shabbat, the Shabbat of Erev Pesach, we read parashat Tzav. This Shabbat is known as Shabbat…

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Tzav 5780-2020

“Behold, I am Sending You Elijah the Prophet” (Revised and update from Tzav 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   On this coming Shabbat, the Shabbat of Erev Pesach, we…

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Tetzaveh 5767-2007

"Details, Details and More Details" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Tetzaveh continues the Torah's focus on the innumerable details of the Mishkan--the portable Tabernacle that…

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A Historical Overview of Jews in Morocco

Jews have lived in Morocco for thousands of years. Jewish nomadic tribes integrated into all aspects of Moroccan life even before the Mohammedan conquest of Morocco, which occurred in the…

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