Rejoice in Reverence: Play the Lottery

It would be the height of irreverence if one were to come to synagogue on Yom Kippur dressed in a light-hearted or comedic costume. Imagine chanting the deeply inspiring and…

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A Land of Milk and Honey

A land flowing with milk and honey–Eretz zavat chalav u’dvash--is one of the most famous descriptions of the Promised Land. While the rabbis expound that the milk is only that which flows…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5777-2017

“Insights to be Gleaned from the Metzorah, the Person Stricken with the Tzaraat Disease" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s double parasha, Tazria-Metzorah, we learn of the…

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Naso 5778-2018

“Counting the ‘Special’ People” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, after conducting a census of all the tribes of Israel and assigning each tribe a…

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Vayeitzei 5760-1999

"Who is the Real Enemy?" Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we read of Jacob's flight from Beersheva, to escape his brother Esau's wrath. Jacob runs, as…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5769-2009

"Blood–the Essence of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Tzav, the Torah declares rather definitively, (Leviticus 7:26), "V'chol dahm lo toch'loo b'chol mohsh'voh'taychem,"…

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Naso 5771-2011

"Finding Variety in the Seemingly Identical" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, is the longest parasha of the Torah. It is usually read on the Shabbat that…

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Toledot 5772-2011

“Isaac Blesses His Sons” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn how Isaac’s intentions to bless Esau are thwarted by the deceptive actions of…

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Vayeitzei 5779-2018

“The Deceivers are Deceived” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we find Jacob fleeing for his life from his brother Esau’s wrath, because…

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Vayeitzei 5780-2019

“Who is the Real Enemy?” (Updated and revised from Vayeitzei 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we read of Jacob’s flight from…

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Lech Lecha 5763-2002

"The Two Birds of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parsha, Lech Lecha, Avram (his name has not yet been changed to Avraham) receives a "calling" to go to the…

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Vayishlach 5766-2005

"When a Jew Comes to the City" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob sends a most impressive tribute consisting of goats, ewes, rams, camels and…

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Vayikra 5766-2006

"Eternal Lessons from Ancient Sacrifices" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Can the ancient sacrificial rituals possibly convey a relevant message for contemporary times? At first blush, not very…

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Yitro 5768-2008

"Welcoming Jethro, the Idolatrous Priest" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Yitro, we read of the arrival of Moses' father-in-law in the wilderness, where the…

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Terumah 5768-2008

"The Museum within the Tabernacle" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Terumah, G-d tells Moses to speak to the people of Israel and instruct them to prepare for…

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Naso 5766-2006

"A Lesson from the N'seeim--the Tribal Leaders" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's Torah portion, parashat Naso, is almost always read on the Shabbat following the festival of…

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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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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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Naso 5765-2005

"A Lesson from the N’seeim--the Tribal Leaders" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s Torah portion, parashat Naso, is almost always read after the festival of Shavuot, except after a…

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Eikev 5773-2013

"Eating Bread Without Poverty" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, Moses continues to encourage the nation of Israel to trust in the Al-mighty. This trust…

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Vayigash 5774-2013

“The Dreams and the Divine Covenant” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. After twenty-two years of separation,…

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Vayikra 5776 -2016

“The Gifts of the Kohanim-the Priests” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, focuses on the animal sacrifices that were brought in both the Tabernacle and,…

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Is It Kosher?

All natural produce in its original form is kosher--including fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Once anything is processed--such as frozen foods, canned goods, repackaged goods,…

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Equal Tribes

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel descended from one of Jacob’s twelve sons, and each had distinct qualities for which they were renowned. The tribe of Issachar, for instance, was known…

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Don’t Gotcha!

All of the 39 m’lachot (creative labors prohibited on Shabbat) are derived from the efforts involved in the creation of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), parts of which were  composed…

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No Cheeseburgers

Why don’t Jews eat meat and milk together? Because the Torah says: “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (Lo t'vashail g'di ba'cha'laiv eemo.) To the modern Jew, however,…

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Scapegoat

The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial "scapegoat." When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing Jews…

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Is It Kosher?

All natural produce in its original form is kosher -- including fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Once anything is processed -- such as frozen foods, canned goods, repackaged goods,…

Read More

No Cheeseburgers

Why don’t Jews eat meat and milk together? Because the Torah says: “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” (Lo t'vashail g'di ba'cha'laiv eemo.) To the modern Jew, however, this phrase…

Read More

Scapegoat

The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial “scapegoat.” When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing…

Read More