Charitable Intentions

It would be nice if we lived in a world where everyone was honest. Unfortunately, the news is full of stories of dishonesty, and phone scammers and identity thieves abound. The fact that…

Read More

Intentions Matter

Halacha (Jewish Law) can be defined, literally, as “the way of walking” or “the path.” This single word defines Judaism’s unique legal system. Some paths are straight, others bend. So…

Read More

An Unholy Act with the Best Intentions

There are many stories in the Torah that might be deemed “too adult,” and are generally glossed over in Hebrew school. But, like every narrative in the Bible, these stories have…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.…

Read More

Vayechi 5763-2002

"How Important is Timing?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, contains the exalted poetic verses known as "Birkot Yaakov," Jacob's blessings of his…

Read More

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…

Read More

Terumah 5775-2015

“The Sanctity of the Synagogue” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, is the first of a series of parashiot that deal with the creation, erecting and…

Read More

Vayeishev 5779-2018

“The Mystical Aspects of the Sale of Joseph” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the sale of Joseph by his brothers, which resulted…

Read More

Shemot 5767-2007

"The Etiquette of Evil" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Shemot we learn of the cruel enslavement of the Jewish people by Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The Torah relates that after…

Read More

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…

Read More

Vayeitzei 5779-2018

“The Deceivers are Deceived” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we find Jacob fleeing for his life from his brother Esau’s wrath, because…

Read More

Mishpatim 5766-2006

"We Will Do and We Will Obey" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The narrative concerning the great Revelation that was recorded in last week's parasha, parashat Yitro, continues in this week's…

Read More

Vayeishev 5774-2013

"Reuben is Credited with Saving Joseph’s Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Joseph is dispatched by Jacob on a fateful mission to check on the well-being of his brothers who had gone to…

Read More

B’ha’a’lot’cha 5775-2015

“Hubris Revisited” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, G-d tells Moses to instruct Aaron concerning the lighting of the Menorah, the seven…

Read More

Toledot 5768-2007

"Esau's Loud and Bitter Cry" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, the rivalry between Esau and Jacob reaches its peak as Esau realizes that his brother…

Read More

Vayeishev 5769-2008

"'Fressing' While Rome Burns" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayeishev, Joseph tracks down his brothers in Dothan. When they see him from afar, they…

Read More

Eikev 5761-2001

"The Intermarriage Conundrum" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week's parasha, parashat Eikev, conclude the theme that was the focus of the final part of last…

Read More

Vayishlach 5760-1999

"The Massacre of Shechem, Can it be Justified?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach commences, Jacob prepares for the fateful confrontation with his…

Read More

Vayikra 5778-2018

"The Sins of a Leader” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra introduces the third book of the Torah, Vayikra, Leviticus. The parasha deals with the…

Read More

Vayishlach 5780-2019

“The Massacre of Shechem, Can it be Justified?” (Updated and revised from Vayishlach 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, commences,…

Read More

Eikev 5780-2020

“The Intermarriage Conundrum” (updated and edited from parashat Eikev 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, conclude the…

Read More

Noah 5769-2008

"Nimrod and the Financial Meltdown" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In Genesis 10, the Torah features a long list of descendants of Shem, Cham and Yafet. It is a litany of begets and begats…

Read More

The Crémieux Decree

On October 24, 1870, The French government issued a decree to recognize the Jews of Algeria as French citizens. The law had been written and passed after much campaigning by powerful…

Read More

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5766-2006

"Standing Idly By" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald An extraordinary number of mitzvot are found in the double parashiot that are read this week. Together, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim contain…

Read More

Balak 5765-2005

"Bilaam, Prophet to the Nations" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The Jews and their philosophers have long been troubled by the concept of "Chosenness." So uncomfortable were the people and…

Read More

Vayeitzei 5771-2010

"The Hated Wife” by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we come face-to-face with the difficulties that are often encountered in polygamous marriages. In…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More