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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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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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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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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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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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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Mishpatim 5764-2004

"The Al-mighty's Concern for the Dignity of the Human Being" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have previously noted, Parashat Mishpatim essentially establishes the structure of…

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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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The Author of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

In honor of Human Rights Day, December 10, Jewish Treats presents a brief biography of René Samuel Cassin (October 5, 1887 - February 20, 1976), the author of the Universal Declaration of…

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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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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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Connecting Words

According to the internet’s fun holiday websites, January 18th is Thesaurus Day.  The date is in honor of the creator of the first modern thesaurus, [Peter Mark] Roget’s Thesaurus. A…

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Conquering the Desert

One of the great miracles of the State of Israel has been its ability to transform desert into blooming arable land. In 1867 Mark Twain described the land in one of his memoirs: “The…

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Mishpatim 5773-2013

"Judaism’s Take on ‘Majority Rules’" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim is a treasure-trove of Jewish law that serves as the basis for much of Jewish…

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Read That Back

Did you know that even in the days of the Talmud there was such a position as court stenographer? The establishment of a court system and a clear system of justice are fundamental mitzvot…

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An Eye For Civil Law

You’ve heard the phrase “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand...” And you’ve likely heard frightening stories of societies in which this biblical rule is applied…

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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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Balak 5764-2004

"How Goodly Are Your Tents O' Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, we read once again of the non-Jewish prophet, Bilaam, who attempts to curse the…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5773-2013

"The Value of a Woman" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Bechukotai, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we learn of the laws of valuations--the practice…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5769-2009

"Impoverishment: In those Days, in these Times" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Until the recent financial meltdown, it was difficult to conceive of impoverishment, especially in the Jewish…

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Mishpatim 5781-2021

“‘An Eye for an Eye’ in Jewish Law” (updated and revised from Mishpatim 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, the Torah introduces the…

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The Knesset

To understand the development of the Israeli parliamentary system in the Knesset, study the history of the British system of government and consider some of the similarities of both.

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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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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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Mishpatim 5762-2002

"'An Eye for an Eye' in Jewish Law" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Mishpatim, the Torah introduces the fundamental legal system of Israel. Both,…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5764-2004

"The Revolutionary Nature of Shemita and Yovel" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In the first of this week's double parashiot, parashat Behar, we encounter the remarkable laws of Shemita--the…

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Bamidbar 5763-2003

"The Role of the Levites, and the Service of Yeshiva students in the Israeli Army" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week we begin to study the fourth book of the Torah, Sefer Bamidbar,…

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Korach 5763-2003

"Korach's Rebellion: Why is the Jewish Community Losing So Many of its Best and its Brightest?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Korach, tells the fascinating…

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