Hands Upon Waking

Everyone has their own particular morning routine. However, whether one has a preference for brushing one's teeth before breakfast or after breakfast, there is one morning routine…

Read More

Keeping Those Hands Clean

Hand-washing is currently a hot topic due to COVID-19. Since Jewish law emphasizes cleanliness and promotes guarding one's health, Judaism has always been ahead of the game when it comes…

Read More

Go Wash Your Hands

Mothers always instruct their children to wash their hands before supper. After all, children play in unclean places, touch strange objects and suck their thumbs, so their hands…

Read More

Keeping Those Hands Clean

Today is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way…

Read More

The Other Hand Washing

It’s been a lovely meal, from the fresh-baked French bread to the sinful chocolate mousse -- every bite. All that is left to do is to recite Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon) thanking…

Read More

The Other Hand Washing

It’s been a lovely meal, from the fresh-baked French bread to the sinful chocolate mousse -- every bite. All that is left to do is to recite Grace After Meals (Birkat Hamazon) thanking…

Read More

Ordaining with Both Hands

Semicha, which connotes rabbinic ordination, as understood today, consists of passing proficiency exams and receiving permission from one’s teachers to rule on questions of Jewish law.…

Read More

Kiddush

Kiddush Kiddush, sanctification, is the prayer said over wine and/or grape juice through which Jews proclaim the uniqueness of…

“Thou Shalt Not Anoint”

The observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, calls for abstention from five activities: eating/drinking, anointing, washing oneself, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.…

Read More

Thou Shalt Not Anoint

The observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, calls for abstention from five activities: eating/drinking, anointing, washing oneself, wearing leather shoes and marital…

Read More

Thou Shalt Not Anoint?

The observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, calls for abstention from five activities: eating, drinking, anointing/washing oneself, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.…

Read More

Thou Shalt Not Anoint

The observance of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, calls for abstention from five activities: eating/drinking, anointing, washing oneself, wearing leather shoes and marital relations.…

Read More

Chukat-Balak 5763-2003

"How to Market G-d!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week we read the double parashiot, Chukat-Balak. In the first of this week's parashiot, parashat Chukat, the Israelites, who…

Read More

Tu B’Shevat

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

Noah 5781-2020

“Noah: The Man Who Brings Comfort to the World” (updated and revised from Noah 5761–2000) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The story of this week’s parasha, parashat Noah, actually begins at…

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

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,…

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 –…

B’shalach 5767-2007

"I Have Been Waiting For Them" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat B'shalach, we read of the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people from the hands of Pharaoh…

Read More

Noah 5761-2000

"Noah: The Man Who Brings Comfort To The World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The story of this coming week's parasha, parashat Noah, actually begins at the end of last week's parasha,…

Read More

The Effect of the Dead

“All life is sacred!” It’s an important statement that is frequently bandied about for political causes. The “Sanctity of life,” however, is a very real and very tangible concept in…

Read More

Wash and Dry

The miracles of modern science have made us aware of the vast world of micro-organisms that previous generations never knew existed. We now know that there are good bacteria that help us…

Read More

Wash and Dry

The miracles of modern science have made us aware of the vast world of micro-organisms that previous generations never knew existed. We now know that there are good bacteria that help us…

Read More

Women Who Work

In 1993, Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women initiated the “Take Our Daughters To Work” program (in 2003, it became “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work”) with the intention…

Read More

The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

Read More

When Bread Isn’t Bread

A question for those who bake and for those who love dessert: What is the difference between bread and cake? Yeast, some might answer. Bread has yeast and rises. But what about yeast…

Read More

Chukat-Balak 5769-2009

"The Ultimate Value of Human Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On this Shabbat, throughout the diaspora, a double Torah portion, Chukat-Balak, is read. In Israel, however, only the…

Read More

Tazria 5779-2019

“Death and Life are in the 'Hands' of the Tongue!” (Revised and updated from Tazria 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week’s parasha, parashat Tazria, deals mostly with…

Read More

Va’etchanan 5780-2020

“The Mandate for Parental Involvement in Jewish Education” (updated and revised from Va’etchanan 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, we…

Read More