A Grain of Salt

When reading the news, always take what you are reading with a grain of salt.

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Mikeitz 5765-2004

"Pharaoh's Dream: Learning Through the Nuances" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, we are presented with a unique opportunity to see the…

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Emor 5774-2014

“The Sadducees and the Counting of the Omer” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 63 mitzvot (24 positive and 39 negative) found in this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, is the mitzvah of…

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The Original Employee Discount

Those who work in retail are often compensated with a special employee discount on goods sold in the store. In the days before retail, when the majority of the population worked in…

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After A Snack

After eating a meal with bread, Birkat Hamazon/Bentching/Grace After Meals is recited as a way to thank and acknowledge God’s gift of sustenance. But what does one recite after eating a…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5766-2006

"The Economics of Torah" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The very last chapter of the book of Leviticus chapter 27, which concludes this week's double parashiot Behar-Bechukotai, focuses on…

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Vocation

“If a man ploughs in the ploughing season, sows in the sowing season, reaps in the reaping season (and etc.)...what is to become of the Torah?” (Talmud Brachot 35b).  This question,…

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Acts of Nature, with a Little Help

Our Rabbis have taught: On entering the barn to measure the newly harvested grain one shall recite the benediction, ‘May it be Your will O Lord, our God, that You may send blessing upon…

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Have You Threshed Recently

Not too many people have the opportunity to thresh their own grain nowadays. Even the original physical method of threshing has been replaced by large, automated threshing machines.…

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Benjamin, The Son of Jacob

The youngest of twelve brothers and one sister, Benjamin, the son of Jacob, appears in the Biblical narrative to be a passive personality whose life is seemingly dictated by the fate of…

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Mikeitz 5770-2009

"Pharaoh's Dream: The Variations and Nuances" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Pharaoh's dream is repeated three times. The dream is first recounted in…

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Bo 5769-2009

"It's Payback Time!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the concluding chapter of this week's parasha, parashat Bo, G-d commands Moses to inform the people to sanctify the firstborn. The…

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Eikev 5771-2011

"Finding the Greatness of G-d in His Humility" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, Moses continues his valedictory address to the Jewish people. In one of the most powerful…

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Vayeira 5772-2011

“Were Lot’s Daughters Moral or Immoral?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, Abraham famously bargains with G-d in order to save the cities of Sodom and…

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Mikeitz 5772-2011

"Joseph Takes His Brother Simeon Hostage" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, is an emotional roller coaster, stocked with abundant moments of triumph…

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Pekudei 5774-2014

“Moses Retires from Center Stage” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pekudei, the moment for which the People of Israel have long been waiting, has finally…

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Vayigash 5776-2015

“Joseph’s Intense Economic Policies” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, Judah’s appeal to Joseph to release his brother Benjamin has a powerful…

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Kee Teitzei 5778-2018

"The Impact of Performing Mitzvot" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, has more mitzvot than any other parasha in the Torah, featuring a total of 74…

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Mikeitz 5779-2018

"Why Did You Treat Me So Badly?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream and is appointed Viceroy of all Egypt. The…

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Shelach 5765-2005

"Bread Alone" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As the name of the parasha, "Shelach lecha"--send for yourself, indicates, this week's parasha focuses on the 12 scouts that were sent by the…

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Tu B’Shevat

Tu B'ShevatNew Year for Trees Tu B’Shevat is a rabbinical, not biblical holiday. In fact, it is first…

When Moses was the High Priest

In Modern Hebrew, mi’lu’im connotes reserve military duty that Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers who complete their compulsory service, are required to fulfil. Mi’lu’im service can…

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Kee Teitzei 5765-2005

"The Revolution that Started with a Fence" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The extraordinary number of themes that are found in parashat Kee Teizei make it seem as if the Torah, with only…

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Kedoshim 5768-2008

"Establishing a Truly Ethical Society: Honesty in Business" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kedoshim is renowned for its many revolutionary ethical pronouncements. It is surely…

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Bechukotai 5763-2003

"Ma'aser Shay'nee--The Second Tithe" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Toward the very end of this coming week's parasha, parashat Bechukotai, we learn the law of Ma'aser Shay'nee, the second…

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Korach 5762-2002

"The Origin of the Big Lie" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's Torah portion, parashat Korach, we read of Korach and his rebellion against G-d, Moses and Aaron. Although…

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Matot-Masei 5769-2009

"The Lesson of the Journeys" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Masei, the second of this week's double parashiot (Matot-Masei), opens with a summary of the travel itinerary of the…

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Vayechi 5768-2007

"The Struggle Over the Birthright" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The struggle over the birthright is a recurring theme throughout the book of Genesis: Cain and Abel, Ishmael and Isaac,…

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Kee Teitzei 5770-2010

"Caring for Workers and Domestic Animals" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, contains an array of rather impressive, indeed, revolutionary, laws…

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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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