Oh Goodness

“He [Rabbi Akiva] said:... The world is judged with goodness, and everything depends on the abundance of good deeds” (Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers 3:19). God judges the world with…

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Learn About and Laud Righteous Gentiles

Amid periods of tragedy, heroes emerge, many of whom are non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews. Learn about them and thank them and their descendants.

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The Blessings of the Amidah: On Behalf of the Righteous

The nineteen blessings of the Amidah make up the core of the Jewish prayer service. The thirteenth blessing is the opposite of the one before; it is a prayer for the righteous, with the…

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Righteous Americans

Given that the Holocaust was, on the whole, a European event, it is not surprising that there are only three Americans listed as the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem, the Israeli…

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Righteous Skepticism

Every subject deserves the presumption of innocence, but that does not imply that one should throw caution to the wind.

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Act Objectively Righteous

Don’t justify questionable behavior because it is better than that of others. Do the right thing. You can’t go wrong!

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To Jew and Jew and Jew

Judaism is both a religion and a nationality. The Talmud teaches us (Shavuot 39a) “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh,” that all Jews are responsible (literally “guarantors”) for one another.…

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Wish both Jews and Non-Jews a Happy and Successful Jewish New Year

On Rosh Hashana we celebrate the creation of the first human being. While only Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana, it is an important anniversary for all humankind.

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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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Vayeira 5771-2010

"Lessons from the Evil of Sodom" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, after the messengers (who were really angels) inform Abraham that his wife, Sarah,…

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Noah 5771-2010

“Man’s Struggle with Evil” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Noah, we learn much about man’s ongoing struggle with evil. As the parasha opens, the Torah…

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Toledot 5767-2006

"The Unanswered Prayer" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Toledot, focuses on the life of the patriarch Isaac and his relationships with his wife, Rebecca and his…

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December 2001

Table of Contents A Glimmer of Light Read Hebrew America/Canada NJOP Volunteers Boston University Hillel Augusta, GA Governor Pataki Salutes NJOP Sam Domb’s Dedication The…

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Bentching/Birkat HaMazon/Grace After Meals

Birkat HaMazonGrace After MealsBentching How easy it is, when we are wanting, to ask G-d for the food, to remember our “please…

Vayigash 5778-2017

“Jacob’s Enhanced Joy from Joseph His Righteous Son”   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, after 22 years of separation, the elderly Patriarch Jacob, is reunited with his…

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Chukat 5768-2008

"The Death of Aaron" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the death of Aaron, the High Priest of Israel. Numbers 20:20-29 relates that the…

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Toledot 5777-2016

“The Exceptional Power of Prayer” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, opens, we find Isaac in the process of entreating G-d that his wife, Rebecca,…

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God and Thanksgiving

Most people correctly associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, Plymouth and the Native Americans with whom the Pilgrims shared a community. Yet, the original Thanksgiving in the United…

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The Birth and Death of Moses

One of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides is believing that Moses was the greatest of all the Jewish prophets. He was so great, that God feared he would be…

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The Birth and Death of Moses

One of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides is believing that Moses was the greatest of all the Jewish prophets. He was so great, that God feared he would be worshipped…

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If There Are But 10…

While the destruction of  Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the better-known biblical narratives, it is preceded by an interesting dialogue between God and Abraham. God reveals to Abraham…

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Noah 5781-2020

“Noah: The Man Who Brings Comfort to the World” (updated and revised from Noah 5761–2000) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The story of this week’s parasha, parashat Noah, actually begins at…

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The Royal Family and the Jews

On February 6, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II assumed the throne of “the United Kingdom and her other realms and Territories” upon the death of her father, King George VI. While the Queen is…

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Vayeira 5776-2015

“The Trials of Abraham” by Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, includes at least three of the ten trials that Abraham faced during his life. Pirkei Avot, Ethics of…

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Reward and Punishment

While the existence of Divine reward and punishment is one of the primary tenets of Jewish faith, the question always arises: Why do the righteous suffer and the wicked appear to…

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Soles and Souls on the Danube

The Danube River is closely identified with the city through which it runs, Budapest, Hungary. Yet that river was defiled in late 1944. On March 19, 1944, the German army conquered…

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Albania and the Jews

Albania, which today marks its Independence Day, is a small Balkan country with an almost minute Jewish population. While it was never a country with a large Jewish population, there have…

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Shabbat Across America and Canada

The 26th AnnualShabbat Across America and Canadais March 4, 2022! Are you a…

Serpent and Staff

The Rod of Asclepius, a serpent wrapped around a staff that is associated with the Greek god of medicine, is commonly used as a symbol for medical centers. Centuries before ancient…

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Laws and Customs of Shavuot

ShavuotLaws and Customs Table of Contents Festival Laws The Book of Ruth Customs Shavuot is a low-key, pensive holiday,…