For National Novel Writing Month: Laura Z.

Although three of her published novels were structured around a Jewish storyline, Laura Zametkin Hobson did not wish to be perceived as a Jewish American novelist. She saw being a writer…

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Catch-22

In honor of National Novel Writing Month: Joseph Heller is best known for his novel Catch-22, a satiric work whose title has become an idiom referring to a situation in which one cannot…

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Best-Seller

For a high school drop-out who failed English three times, Leon Uris had an outstanding career as a best-selling author. The Baltimore born (August 3, 1924) son of a Jewish paperhanger…

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Vayikra 5774-2014

“The Essence of Sacrifice” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, we once again encounter the challenging issue of animal sacrifice. In several previous…

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Best-Seller

For a high school drop-out who failed English three times, Leon Uris had an outstanding career as a best-selling author. The Baltimore born (August 3, 1924) son of a Jewish paperhanger…

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American Archivist

Selma Stern-Taeubler (1890-1981) was a natural achiever. Not only was this doctor’s daughter the first woman to be accepted to Baden-Baden’s Gymnasium in Germany, she even graduated from…

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Vayeitzei 5762-2001

"From Ish Tam to Business Mogul: The Transformation of Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, opens, we encounter Jacob as he arrives in…

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Tetzaveh 5770-2010

"The Central Role of the Golden Altar and the Incense" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The order of the Torah's instructions, regarding the furnishings of the Tabernacle and the vestments…

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Va’eira 5774-2013

“Moses, the Reluctant Prophet” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Tradition maintains that the 53 Hebrew prophets and prophetesses were generally a reluctant group of Divine servants, who were…

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Pekudei 5776-2016

“The Mishkan--the Tabernacle, as Collateral” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Pekudei, opens with a reckoning and accounting of all the precious materials that…

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Matot-Masei 5776-2016

“Rosh Chodesh Av – Remembering the Passing of a Beloved Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Masei, the second of this week’s combined parashiot Matot-Masei, features a lengthy…

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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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B’ha’alot’cha 5770-2010

"The Murmurers" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat B'ha'alot'cha, is a complex and fascinating parasha. The first three chapters of the parasha contain many…

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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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Mikeitz 5766-2005

"Marketing G-d by Living Example" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, continues one of the great sagas in world literature, the story of Joseph and his…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001

"Who is Truly Religious?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, are once again double parashiot. Both of these parashiot are chock full of novel…

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Korach 5760-2000

"Controversy verses Conflict" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, Parashat Korach, tells of the famed controversy between Korach and Moshe, which concludes with the…

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B’shalach 5771-2011

"Avoiding the Philistines" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach, G-d leads the People of Israel out of Egypt in a most dramatic manner. It was in last…

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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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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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Toledot 5774-2013

"A Revolutionary Definition of Parenthood" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, opens with a genealogy of the family of Isaac and his wife Rebecca, and the…

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Metzorah 5774-2014

“The Peddler and Evil Speech” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Metzorah, again addresses the Biblical affliction Tzara’at, צָּרַעַת. Parashat Metzorah teaches…

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Shemot 5775-2015

"Moses--The Mysterious Early Years" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, the Torah reports that Moses, the Jewish child who was rescued by Pharaoh’s…

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Mikeitz 5776-2015

“Joseph’s Bold Advice to Pharaoh-–Revisited” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph, the Hebrew slave boy, is hurried from the dungeon to stand…

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Korach 5779-2019

“Controversy Versus Conflict” (Revised and updated from Korach 5760-2000) by  Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Korach, tells of the ill-fated controversy between…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5780-2020

"Who is Truly Religious?” (Updated and revised from Parashiot Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim,…

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Chosen To Write: Chaim Potok

In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled with an angel and emerged as Israel, “He who struggles.” In the 20th-21st century, Western Jews spend a great amount of energy wrestling with the world of…

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A Singer whose Voice was a Pen

On November 21, 1902, a baby was born in Leoncin, Poland, who would succeed, through his pen, to help posterity understand the Jewish “Shtetl” experience in Eastern Europe. Isaac Hersh…

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No Refuge in Alaska

Purchased from the Russian Empire in 1867, the territory of Alaska was the United States’ “Last Frontier.” Following its 1899 gold rush, which helped lay the foundation of Alaskan…

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More Than A Book Seller

Sholem Yankev Abramovitsh, born on January 2, 1836, to a poor family near Minsk, had a traditional religious Jewish childhood. After his father passed away when he was 13, …

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