The World To Come

This world is like the eve of Shabbat, and Olam Habah (the World to Come) is like Shabbat. He who prepares on the eve of Shabbat will have food to eat on Shabbat (Avodah Zara 3a) Olam…

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The World To Come

“This world is like the eve of Shabbat, and Olam Habah (the World to Come) is like Shabbat. He who prepares on the eve of Shabbat will have food to eat on Shabbat.” (Avodah Zara 3a). Olam…

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Resurrection of the Dead

It is required by Jewish law that the body of one who has passed away be buried as quickly and as completely as possible, meaning that the entire body (or as much of the remains as…

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A Song to the Eternal

Not only is Adon Olam one of the most well-known Jewish prayers, but it is also one of the most frequently repeated parts of the liturgy. Depending on the community, it is included in the…

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Shoftim 5771-2011

"Jewish Justice & Jewish Leadership" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, opens with a command to the people of Israel to establish courts of justice in…

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Tu B’Shevat

Tu B'ShevatNew Year for Trees Tu B’Shevat is a rabbinical, not biblical holiday. In fact, it is first…

Return of the Dead?

The relationship of the living and the dead is an oft debated topic by the sages. Judaism firmly believes that, post mortem, a person's neshama (soul) goes to an afterworld known as Olam…

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Return of the Dead

The relationship of the living and the dead is an oft debated topic by the sages. Judaism firmly believes that, post mortem, a person's neshama (soul) goes to an afterworld…

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Shabbat Prayers

Learn AboutShabbat Prayers Table of Contents Morning Blessings (Birkhot Hashachar) Verses of Praise (Pesukei Dezimrah)…

Yom Tov – The First Festival Days

Yom TovThe First Festival Days Sukkot is a 7 day holiday. The first day (first two days outside of Israel) are Yamim Tovim –…

Zmirot (Songs of Shabbat)

Singing zmirot, songs of Shabbat, on Friday night not only expresses joy for the gift of Shabbat, but also offers praise to God. While many of…

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Advanced Preparation

This world is like a lobby before Olam Habah (Ethics of the Fathers 4:16) prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall.

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Hell

Judaism subscribes to the belief in an after-life and reward and punishment, but is there a concept of Hell in Judaism? Hell as commonly depicted--fire, brimstone, devils with…

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Hell

Judaism subscribes to the belief in an after-life and reward and punishment, but is there a concept of Hell in Judaism?Hell as commonly depicted--fire, brimstone, devils with…

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Vayishlach 5778-2017

“The Tragic Death of Mother Rachel” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we learn of the untimely and tragic death of Mother Rachel as she was…

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Zmirot (Songs of Shabbat)

Singing zmirot, songs of Shabbat, on Friday night not only expresses joy for the gift of Shabbat, but also offers praise to God. While many of the zmirot specifically speak of the beauty…

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Boom! Flash!

There’s nothing quite as spectacular on a hot, humid summer day as a thunderstorm. Thick clouds gather, heavy winds blow and a “show” is presented that stimulates all of our senses. A…

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Vayechi 5762-2001

"The Debate: Burial In The Land of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, concludes the book of Bereshit, Genesis. Parashat Vayechi includes…

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Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah

- Shemini Atzeret / Simchat TorahThe Gathering of the 8th Shemini Atzeret, literally the Gathering of the…

Laws and Customs of Shavuot

ShavuotLaws and Customs Table of Contents Festival Laws The Book of Ruth Customs Shavuot is a low-key, pensive holiday,…

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…

Closing Eyes

Can you murder a dying man? There is an interesting passage in the Talmud that states:“Our Rabbis taught, ‘He who closes [the eyes of a dying person] at the point of death is a murderer.…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5767-2007

"Reward and Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we encounter the very challenging concept of Divine reward and…

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Five Names of Rosh Hashana

In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashana has several names that can help us understand the importance and power of this holiday. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh…

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Spiraling From Adam

“The Chosen People,” as the Jews are sometimes known, has been misunderstood by some as an indication that Judaism disdains those who are not Jewish. This, of course, is not true. Adam,…

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The Blessings of the Amidah: Gratitude

The nineteen blessings of the Amidah make up the core of the Jewish prayer service. The eighteenth blessing is an outright statement of gratitude. It is the longest of the nineteen…

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Sabbath Prayers: V’Shamru/And They Shall Guard

A direct quote from the Torah (Exodus 31:16-17), the following two verses are often recited aloud as part of the Friday night service. It is a reminder that Shabbat is a sign of the…

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Five Names For Rosh Hashana

In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashana has several names that can help us understand the importance and power of this holiday. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh…

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The Five Names of Rosh Hashana

In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashana has several names that can help us understand the importance and power of this holiday. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh…

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The Five Names of Rosh Hashana

In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashana has several names that can help us understand the importance and power of this holiday. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh…

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