Basic Behavior

Do not make presumptions about other people.

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Korach 5769-2009

"A Controversy with an Ignoble Purpose" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Korach, we read of the rebellion that Korach led against Moses, Aaron and G-d.…

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Naso 5763-2003

"The Hypocrite as Exemplar" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter a very strange order in the topics of the text. The Torah in Numbers…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5780-2020

“Setting a New Standard of Ethical Behavior” (Updated and revised from Parashiot Behar-Bechukotai 5761-2001) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week, we once again read two parashiot,…

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Va’eira 5776-2016

“The Lessons of Genealogy” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’eira, we learn of the noble family background of Moses and Aaron, who would soon emerge to lead…

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Shelach 5774-2014

“Do Not Follow After the Desires of Your Heart and Eyes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald While the major theme of parashat Shelach concerns the scouts who return from the Land of Israel with…

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Lech Lecha 5765-2004

"Was Hagar Abused?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, we are introduced to our great patriarch and matriarch, Abraham and his wife, Sarah. These…

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Eikev 5763-2003

"Is There Truth to the Notion of Spiritual Accountability?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Eikev, contains the well-known second paragraph of the…

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B’ha’a’lot’cha 5776-2016

“Moses Realizes that His Dreams Were Not Going to be Fulfilled" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   Parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha is one of the richest parashiot in the Torah with respect to…

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Vayechi 5760-1999

"How Important is Timing?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, is an exalted collection of poetry. In this parasha, Jacob blesses his children, but it is…

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Vayechi 5780-2020

"The Critical Importance of Timing" (updated and revised from Vayechi 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, includes almost a full chapter…

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Kee Teitzei 5770-2010

"Caring for Workers and Domestic Animals" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, contains an array of rather impressive, indeed, revolutionary, laws…

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Naso 5769-2009

"An Extreme Lifestyle" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter two particularly challenging themes. We read of the Sotah, a woman suspected of…

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Matot-Masei 5766-2006

"Taking a Stand Against the Banality of Evil" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the first of this week's double parashiot, Matot-Masei, we read of the battle that the people of Israel waged…

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Lech Lecha 5766-2005

"Abraham, Father of the Jewish Nation" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although the birth of Abram (Abraham's original name) is recorded at the end of parashat Noah (Genesis 11:26), it is in…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5770-2010

"Rebelling with G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the very end of parashat Vayeilech (the second of this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech), we read the conclusion of Moses’…

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Matot-Masei 5760-2000

"Jeremiah's Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, this coming week's parashiot will be doubled, and we will be reading both…

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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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Matot-Masei 5779-2019

“Jeremiah’s Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times” (Revised and updated from Matot-Masei 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This Shabbat, when parashiot Matot…

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Mishpatim 5772-2012

"Capital Punishment: Revenge or Restitution?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With fifty-three commandments--thirty negative and twenty-three positive, parashat Mishpatim ranks fourth among…

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Eikev 5764-2004

"Battling the Contemporary Abominations" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Eikev, Moses once again encourages the people of Israel to put their faith in G-d.…

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Kedoshim 5779-2019

“The Revolutionary Idea of Holiness’” (Revised and updated from Kedoshim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Kedoshim, we encounter a…

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B’shalach 5780-2020

“Where is Nachshon the Son of Aminadov When We Need Him?” (Updated and revised from B’shalach 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach,…

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Vayeitzei 5767-2006

"Dissing G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we learn of Jacob's flight from his brother Esau, his arrival penniless at the home of his uncle Laban,…

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Tazria 5768-2008

"The Odd Ritual Practices of the Metzorah!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald According to rabbinic tradition, the "tzah'ra'aht" affliction is not a bodily disease, but a physical…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5766-2006

"The Torah's Home Security System" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Metzorah, the second of this week's double parashiot, we learn how the disease tzara'at (sometimes incorrectly…

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B’shalach 5761-2001

"Where is Nachshon, the Son of Aminadav, When We Need Him?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat B'shalach, describes G-d's miraculous salvation of the Jewish…

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Kedoshim 5771-2011

“Judaism’s Radical Notion of Holiness” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most profound statements in the Torah is found in the opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat…

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Noah 5775-2014

“The Fate of Humankind is Sealed” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Noah, we read of the deluge that inundated the world, ending human life on earth except for…

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Kedoshim 5760 – 2000

"The Revolutionary Idea of Holiness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat K'doshim, we encounter that magical and revolutionary word which the Torah has…

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