Cloud Positioning System

Those who enjoy travel, love to hear tales of adventurous backpackers who head off into “parts unknown” without a clear plan of action. Most people, however, would not travel without a…

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Shoftim 5764-2004

"Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Shoftim--the name means "judges" or "magistrates," and this parasha deals essentially with the ethical and…

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Majority Rules

After the Torah was given, Moses served as the sole judge of the Jewish people until a judicial hierarchy was established at the suggestion of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. One judge was…

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Majority Rules

After the Torah was given, Moses served as the sole judge of the Jewish people until a judicial hierarchy was established at the suggestion of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. One judge was…

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Devarim 5779-2019

“Judaism’s Unique View of Justice and the Judicial System” (Revised and updated from Devarim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week, we begin reading the Book of…

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Yitro 5778-2018

“Striving as a Jewish Ideal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law advises Moses to delegate authority when he sits in…

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Devarim 5760-2000

"Judaism's Unique Views on Justice and the Justice System" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week, we begin reading Deuteronomy, the final book of the five books of the Torah.…

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Yitro 5769-2009

"Ambassadors Needed" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Yitro, Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, gives his son-in-law practical and insightful advice regarding the…

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Yitro 5771-2011

"The Dark Side of Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In our previous studies of parashat Yitro 5760-2000, we spoke of Israel’s encounter with Jethro and the non-Jewish world. Through…

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Holiday Greetings

The standard pre-Rosh Hashana greeting of “K’tiva v’chatima tova” ("May you be written and sealed for good”) is deduced from a Talmudic discussion concerning the three heavenly books that…

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Mishpatim 5777-2017

“Majority Rule " This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, is one of the most content-rich parashiot in the entire Torah. Mishpatim, which literally means “laws” or “rules,” serves as the…

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The Great Sanhedrin

In ancient times, the court system of Israel was dominated by two forms of large courts. The smaller of the large courts known as "Small Sanhedrins," were composed of 23 sages each, and…

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The Great Sanhedrin

In ancient times, the court system of Israel was dominated by two forms of large courts. The smaller courts, known as “small sanhedrins,” were composed of 23 sages each and were located…

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Mishpatim 5763-2003

"Justice! Justice!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Mishpatim, contains an abundance of laws that cover a vast array of Jewish civil and criminal…

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Yitro 5772-2012

"Who is the Real Jethro?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Jethro, a man of great stature and distinction, is first encountered in the Bible in Exodus 2:16. The Torah describes Jethro as…

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Balak 5771-2011

"Taking the Law Into One’s Own Hand" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the conclusion of this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, we learn that after Bilaam’s failed attempts to curse the…

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Tzav 5763-2003

"What We Learn from the Jewish 'Caste System'" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Tzav, continues the Torah's description of the sacrificial rite, and…

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“Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue”

The directive to create a judicial system is set out in Deuteronomy 16:18-20. God commands the Israelites to appoint judges and law enforcement officials in all their cities and towns.…

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Appointing Justice

According to Jewish tradition, God created the world employing the attributes of both rachamim (mercy) and din (justice). Since God is constantly renewing the act of creation, it is with…

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“Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue”

The directive to create a judicial system is set out in Deuteronomy 16:18-20. God commands the Israelites to appoint judges and law enforcement officials in all their cities and towns.…

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A Treat For World Philosophy Day

Philosophy is defined by dictionary.com as "the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct." Judaism, being a religion, is a system of living…

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Behar 5765-2005

"The Torah's Revolutionary Economic System" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Behar is an extraordinarily challenging and revolutionary parasha. The Torah, in…

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Devarim 5777-2017

“The Transformation of Moses is Completed” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, we begin reading the fifth and final book of the Torah, known as…

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Yitro 5779-2019

“An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World” (Revised and updated from Yitro 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the end of last week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach (Exodus…

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Yitro 5760-2000

"An Encounter with Jethro and the Non-Jewish World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the end of last week's parasha, Parashat B'shalach (Exodus 17:8-16), the Jewish people have an…

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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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B’ha’alot’cha 5769-2009

"Would a Human Author Have Written this?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Beha'alotecha, contains a host of diverse themes. Topics include: the Menorah,…

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Yitro 5776-2016

“Apparently, Not All Converts are Created Equal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, arrives in the wilderness to join Moses…

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Balak 5776-2016

“Balaam Sees the Kenites" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, Balaam, the gentile prophet, offers three remarkable prophecies/blessings concerning the…

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Off With His Head

Capital punishment is one of the modern era’s great controversies. Does a judicial system have the right to sentence a person to death? Like most such controversial topics, similar…

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