In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

On August 3, 1492, Columbus’ three ships set sail from Spain. But did you know that August 2, 1492, was Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av, and the date by which all Jews were required…

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In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

On August 3, 1492, Columbus’ three ships set sail from Spain. But did you know that August 2, 1492, was Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av, and the date by which all Jews were required…

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Vayikra 5772-2012

“Pass the Salt, Please!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, we learn of the obligation of placing salt on all sacrificial offerings, including all…

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Shelach 5773-2013

"Tzitzit: The Unpretentious Mitzvah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the conclusion of this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, we learn of the mitzvah of Tzitzit, the fringes that are…

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Devarim 5776-2016

“Moses the Stammerer, Becomes a World-Class Orator" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With parashat Devarim, we begin to read the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Torah.…

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Kinnot

KinnotMany devastating events took place on the 9th of Av. This is why the Jewish people consider it the saddest day on the…

Kee Tavo 5769-2009

"Stretch Those Face Muscles!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, we find the fascinating portion regarding the giving of Bikurim, the season's first…

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Vayigash 5775-2014

"Joseph Calms His Brothers" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph dramatically reveals himself to his brothers. Scripture reports that Joseph…

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Herzl’s Vision of Haifa

International air travel today, especially in the “post 9-11 world,” can be frustrating, annoying and anxiety-provoking. Because of the extra costs of traveling to and from airports,…

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On the Canadian Prairie

Thirty-three years old at the time of his immigration, Grodno-born Rabbi Israel Isaac Kahanovitch was called to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1906, after spending a year in Scranton,…

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Fire and Ice

A news story in June, 2017, reported that a combination of ice and fire doomed the Titanic and caused its sinking on April 14, 1912. Photos of the ship prior to its departure from Belfast…

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Elegies (Kinnot)

An elegy is defined as a mournful poem or a lament. In Hebrew, an elegy is known as a kinna. On Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second…

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Tashlich

The Rosh Hashana tashlich ceremony is a tradition that is dear throughout the many diverse Jewish communities. Tashlich literally translates as "You will throw." But…

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On the Canadian Prairie

Thirty-three years old at the time of his immigration, Grodno-born Rabbi Israel Isaac Kahanovitch was called to Winnipeg, Manitoba, after spending a year in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He had…

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A Unique Olympic Record

The story of Otto Herschmann is one of triumph and tragedy. One of the few Olympic athletes to ever win medals in two different sports, Herschmann was also the only athlete to receive a…

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Athlete and Architect

When Arnold Guttmann was 13 years old, his father drowned in the Danube River, and Arnold decided that he needed to learn how to swim. Six years later, after changing his name to Alfred…

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The Jews of Turkey: A Historical Overview

Given Turkey’s proximity to the Land of Israel, it is not surprising that there has been a Jewish presence in that country since at least the 4th century B.C.E, when the land was Roman…

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No Chance to Compete

The International Olympics were conceived as a competition meant to foster peace and comradery. Alas, that lovely ideal has often been too difficult for people to live up to.  One…

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Great Scots!

The story of the great masses of Eastern European Jews who arrived in New York and settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is now more than conventional history, but an ingrained…

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Elegies (Kinnot)

An elegy is defined as a mournful poem or a lament. In Hebrew, an elegy is known as a kinna. On Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second…

Read More

Tashlich

The Rosh Hashana tashlich ceremony is a tradition that is dear throughout the many diverse Jewish communities. Tashlich literally translates as "You will throw." But…

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The End of the Inquisition

In 1834, President Andrew Jackson was censured by Congress, Charles Darwin spent the year on the HMS Beagle and a number of Upper Canadian towns were incorporated into the city of…

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The First Jew in the Colonies

When does American Jewish history begin? Some would say that it begins in 1492, when Columbus set sail on his historic voyage accompanied by at least one known Jewish crew member (Luis de…

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Spiritual Compass

Today, November 6, brings us to yet another odd, seemingly random, holiday that has grown out of the internet age. Today is “Marooned without a Compass Day.” While the name of…

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Tashlich

The Rosh Hashana tashlich ceremony is a tradition that is dear throughout the many diverse Jewish communities. Tashlich literally translates as "You will throw." But…

Read More

Elegies (Kinnot)

An elegy is defined as a mournful poem or a lament. In Hebrew, an elegy is known as a kinna. On Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second…

Read More

The Indigo Guy of South Carolina

The fact that the constitution of the colony of Carolina (later North Carolina and South Carolina), which was authored by the philosopher John Locke, included a call for the freedom of…

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Cloudy With A Chance Of

Today, with the proliferation of personal electronics, most people check the weather forecast without giving it a second thought. But long before the development of scientific…

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Situation in the Suez

The Suez Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, and thus to the Indian Ocean, was built in the 1860s through a French-Egyptian partnership. In 1875, debt forced the…

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The First Jewish Author in the Americas

Forgetting the rights and wrongs of conquest, one must acknowledge that the men and women who crossed the ocean to settle the so-called "New World" were incredibly brave. Imagine leaving…

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