The Blessing of the Sun

Wednesday morning (April 8, 2009/14th of Nisan 5769), a unique, once in 28 years blessing will be recited -- Birkat Hachama, the blessing of the sun. The event that is being observed is…

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Sun Care

As taking care of one's health is a mitzvah, make certain to put on proper sun protection during the summer.

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Sand, Sun and Jewish History

Ninety-nine years ago today, Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas (as well as the smaller surrounding islands) were transferred from the dominion of Denmark to the possession of the…

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Bereshith 5767-2006

"Pardes--the Four Levels of Understanding Torah" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The Talmud in Chagiga 14b, tells the story of four great scholars, Ben Azai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiva,…

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The Second Uprising

History is a study in cause and effect. Today, on the 9th of Av, the Jewish people mourn two additional tragic events that followed the terrible destruction of the Second Temple: the…

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Pinchas 5763-2003

"Can a Perfect G-d Sin?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Pinchas, is replete with fascinating narratives. The parasha opens with G-d's reward to Pinchas for his…

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Vayeitzei 5775-2014

“Twenty Years in the House of Laban” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, Jacob follows his parents’ advice to leave home in order to escape the wrath…

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Cycles of Seasons

While the Jewish calendar is lunar based, meaning that each month is independently calculated by the cycle of the moon, the rabbis of the Talmudic era also used the solar cycle and the…

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They Called Him “Two-Gun”

The nickname “Two-Gun” evokes images of a rough-shaven cowboy in the Wild West. Actually, the nickname belonged to one Morris “Moishe” Cohen. An immigrant child from Poland to London,…

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Rules for a Burglar

A burglar is, by definition, one who commits the act of breaking and entering a dwelling at night with the intent to commit a felony. This definition is very important in order to…

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Pinchas 5767-2007

"Rosh Chodesh, the Modest Holiday" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Pinchas opens with the Al-mighty praising Pinchas, grandson of Aaron the High Priest, for fatally stabbing Zimri,…

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Vayishlach 5773-2012

"Gid Ha’nasheh: The Sinew of the Thigh" By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after twenty two years of fleeing from his brother Esau, who had…

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Kedoshim 5774-2014

“The Prohibition of Taking Revenge” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kedoshim, we find the ever-popular verse of Leviticus 19:18, וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ…

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Fathers and Time

Of the three patriarchs, the one with the briefest of appearances and the fewest mentions in the Biblical verses is certainly Isaac, son of Abraham and father to Jacob. A Talmudic passage…

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Frequent Flyer Miles

As far back as the mid-1800s, rabbis wrestled with the question of the growing mobility of the populace. Since there were no new lands to be discovered, those of an exploring nature were…

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Frequent Flyer Miles

As far back as the mid-1800s, rabbis wrestled with the question of the growing mobility of the populace. Since there were no new lands to be discovered, those of an exploring nature were…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5761-2001

"Jews Sanctify Time, Not Space" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week, we read the double portions, Vayakel-Pekudei, and with these two portions we complete the Book of Shemot,…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5780-2020

“Judaism Sanctifies Time, Not Space” (Updated and revised from Vayakhel-Pekudei 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   On this coming Shabbat, two Torah portions are read,…

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Haazinu 5763-2002

"On the Anniversary of September 11th" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming Shabbat, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is known as Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of…

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Yitro 5764-2004

"Why G-d Cannot Share the Limelight" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Yitro, the Al-mighty reveals Himself to the People of Israel on Mt. Sinai and…

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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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Va’etchanan 5778-2018

“Never Despair!"   In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, Moses pleads with the Al-mighty to display His greatness and to forgive Moses’ sin, and allow him to cross into the…

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Well It’s Been A Long Day

Today is the longest day of the year - the summer solstice. Technically, the summer solstice is an astronomical event that occurs when the sun reaches its most northern point in the sky.…

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If Shabbat Is Saturday, Why Does It Begin On Friday Night?

There Was Evening, And There Was Morning... When following the Gregorian (secular) calendar, it is natural to think of the days of the week as Sunday, Monday....Friday, Saturday, each…

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Eclipse

One might expect the sages to record eclipses as moments of awe, but instead the Talmud (Sukkah 29a) ascribes what seems to be a strange meaning to them:“Our Rabbis taught, When the…

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Rabbi Ashi

Every generation needs a leader. The Talmud notes that “a righteous man does not depart from the world until [another] righteous man like himself is created, as it is said (Ecclesiastes…

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The Second Commandment

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor any manner of likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, that is in the earth beneath, or…

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Why Am I Not Interested in Idols?

There is an interesting dialogue between the elders of Rome and the sages of Israel recorded in Talmud Avodah Zarah 55a:  [Rome]: "If [your God] has no desire for idolatry, why does…

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Well It’s Been A Long Day

Today is the longest day of the year - the summer solstice. Technically, the summer solstice is an astronomical event that occurs when the sun reaches its most northern point in the sky.…

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Who Has Kept Us Alive

The Book of Ecclesiastes frequently repeats the theme of, “There is nothing new under the sun.” For King Solomon, the composer of Ecclesiastes, this focus was intended to inspire people…

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