Influence

Be aware of how you are affected by other people’s actions and avoid being unduly influenced.

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Rachel’s Influence

At the end of the patriarch Jacob’s life, Joseph brings his sons to his father for a blessing. This scene, recorded in Genesis 48, includes a seemingly odd statement by Jacob: "And as for…

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Bamidbar 5771-2011

“Good Neighbors and Bad Neighbors” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, we learn of the configuration of the camps of Israel that surrounded the…

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My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies

Did you grow up with the planetary mnemonic “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies”? Of course, since 2006, when Pluto was removed from the roster of planets, the mnemonic has…

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Vayishlach 5770-2009

"The Rape of Dinah: Impossible to Fathom!" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we learn of the brutal abduction and rape of Jacob's daughter, Dinah. The…

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Shelach 5778-2018

“Moses Called Hoshea the Son of Nun, ‘Joshua’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach-Lecha, the tragic story of the scouts is recounted. The scouts’…

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Balak 5768-2008

"The 'Mazal Tov' Conundrum" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, Balaam, the prophet to the nations, offers a series of four prophecies. The first three…

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Here’s To The Positive

In Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers, Rabbi Joshua is quoted saying, “An evil eye (ayin harah), the evil inclination (yetzer harah) and hatred of other people (sinat habree’ot) remove a…

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Rachel’s Tomb

Kever Rochel, the Tomb of Rachel, in Bethlehem is considered to be the third holiest site in Jewish tradition, after the Temple Mount and The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The…

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Vayigash 5767-2006

"Two of the Seventy Souls" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. The old patriarch, Jacob, departs from Beersheba to…

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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…

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Emor 5771-2011

"Sanctifying and Defiling G-d’s Name" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, we encounter two prominent pronouncements that serve as foremost guideposts for…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5777-2017

“Judging Others Favorably” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, has 38 negative and 13 positive mitzvot and…

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Naso 5775-2015

“The Fine Nuances of Jealousy” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, includes the very challenging portion about the Sotah, the woman who is suspected of being…

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Shalom Aleichem

Shalom Aleichem On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel represents…

Vayeitzei 5780-2019

“Who is the Real Enemy?” (Updated and revised from Vayeitzei 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we read of Jacob’s flight from…

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Shabbat’s Angel Companions

In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying: On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel…

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Kee Teitzei 5766-2006

"The Mitzvah of Marriage, Kiddushin and Ketuvah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Teitzei is a fascinating parasha, containing the largest number of mitzvot of any parasha in the…

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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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Vayigash 5777-2017

“No ‘Man’ was with Joseph” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, the extraordinary story of Joseph and his brothers reaches its dramatic conclusion as…

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Shabbat’s Angel Companions

In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying: On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel…

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Shabbat’s Angel Companions

In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying: On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel…

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Vayeitzei 5760-1999

"Who is the Real Enemy?" Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we read of Jacob's flight from Beersheva, to escape his brother Esau's wrath. Jacob runs, as…

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Matot-Masei 5775-2015

“The Noble Calling of the Levites: Serving as an Exemplar for the Jewish People” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Masei, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Matot-Masei,…

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Terumah 5779-2019

“The Mishkan: Underscoring the Centrality of the Home in Jewish Life” (Revised and updated from Terumah 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat…

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Sources Commentators

Abarbanel (1437-1508, Spanish statesman, philosopher and commentator) Achad Ha’Am (Asher Zvi Hirsh Ginsberg, 1856-1927) AJOP (Association for Jewish Outreach Programs) Akeidat Yitzchak…

The Iron Curtain

On March 5, 1946, barely one year after the end of World War II, recently-defeated British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, delivered a speech entitled, “Sinews of Peace” at…

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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…

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Chayei Sara 5762-2001

"Raising Jewish Children in a Challenging Environment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, begins with the death of Sarah. Less widely known…

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Bamidbar 5767-2007

"The Tribe of Levi--the Master Enablers" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, we learn about the structure and formation of the Israelites in the…

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