Twice To The Grave?

What happens when a final resting place isn’t so final? In our modern era of perpetual development and expanding cities, it is not unheard of for there to be requests to relocate entire…

Read More

Grave Visit

If you are nearby, visit the graves of your relatives.

Read More

Mitzvah With A Shovel

The Jewish customs surrounding death, burial and mourning are woven together to provide both respect for the departed and comfort for the mourners. One such custom that may seem startling…

Read More

Mitzvah With A Shovel

The Jewish customs surrounding death, burial and mourning are intended to provide both respect for the departed and comfort for the mourners. One such custom that may seem startling or…

Read More

Tombstone

In Judaism, the dead are given great respect. One important tradition that reflects the Jewish faith’s respect for the deceased is the placing of a tombstone upon the grave. From a…

Read More

Shoftim 5763-2003

"Astrology, Witchcraft and Spiritualism in Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Shoftim, the Torah describes the vital role of the prophet. Moses…

Read More

Vayechi 5775-2014

“Jacob Remembers Rachel” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, Jacob, who has been living in Egypt for seventeen years, makes his son, Joseph, swear that…

Read More

Vayigash 5771-2010

“When a Jew Goes Down to Egypt” Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. When Jacob learns that his beloved son is still…

Read More

My Kids’ Inheritance

There’s a cute bumper sticker that says “I’m spending my kids’ inheritance.” If you were to ask whether the great Jewish scholars would approve of such an attitude, you might be surprised…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Chayei Sarah 5771-2010

“What Shall I Do, My Parents Hate Him?!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we encounter the world’s first shidduch (arranged marriage) and the…

Read More

Vayishlach 5771-2010

“The Power of a Vow” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second part of this week’s action-packed parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we read of Jacob’s return to Beth-El, the scene of his…

Read More

Chayei Sarah 5773-2012

"Beware Not to Return My Son There!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn that Abraham, who is well-on in years, is deeply concerned about…

Read More

Chayei Sarah 5774-2013

"Yitzchak Establishes a Home with His New Wife" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we read of the death of the matriarch Sarah at age 127. Rashi…

Read More

Acharei Mot 5774-2014

“Prelude to Holiness” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The name of this week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot, literally means “in the aftermath of the deaths of Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Abihu.”…

Read More

Vayikra 5775-2015

“The Primacy of Independent Thinking” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, contains many laws and directives regarding the various sacrifices and ritual…

Read More

Pekudei 5776-2016

“The Mishkan--the Tabernacle, as Collateral” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Pekudei, opens with a reckoning and accounting of all the precious materials that…

Read More

Bechukotai 5776-2016

“The Tochaycha–G-d’s Daunting Reproof of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Bechukotai, contains the first of two Tochaychot--תּוֹכֵחוֹת, G-d’s reproofs or…

Read More

Kee Tavo 5778-2018

“A Wandering Aramean?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, Moses, facing the final days of his life, informs the people what to expect will happen once…

Read More

Vayikra 5779-2019

"Thanking G-d for the Good” (Revised and updated from Vayikra 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, we read about the sacrificial rite.…

Read More

Pinchas 5779-2019

“The Daughters of Zelophehad: Legitimate Feminist Claims” (Revised and updated from Pinchas 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we…

Read More

Noah 5780-2019

“The Vital Importance of Truthful Judgment” (Updated and Revised from Noah 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   There is a fascinating and enlightening narrative recorded in…

Read More

Vayishlach 5768-2007

"The Birth of Benjamin, The Death of Rachel" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we read of an occasion that should have been a most joyous event in…

Read More

Honor the Dead

There is an old Jewish custom to visit the grave of a loved one on the date of their passing (yahrtzeit).

Read More

Memorial

Visit the grave of a deceased relative and place a stone on the tombstone as a sign that this person is loved and remembered.

Read More

Offer to Help

When attending a burial where only a few family members are present, offering to help shovel dirt into the grave, is considered a great act of kindness.

Read More

Israel’s First Spy

While religious Jews acknowledge that the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel is a Divine gift, God appoints his messengers to facilitate His work, including…

Read More

Vayeira 5763-2002

"Sodom: The Home of Institutionalized Evil" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in Sodom? There are, after all, many places in the world,…

Read More

Noah 5760-1999

"Does the Torah ever distort the truth?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There is a fascinating and enlightening story brought down in Genesis 11, of this week's parasha, Noah. It is…

Read More