Wayward Sons

While the Biblical canon has many stories of redemption and miracles, it also records narratives that demonstrate the true struggles of real people.  Real people know of the commonly…

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Kee Teitzei 5777-2017

“Lessons from the Wayward Son” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, we learn of the law of the “Ben soh’rayr oo’moh’reh,”  בֵּן סוֹרֵר וּמוֹרֶה ,…

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Kee Teitzei 5769-2009

"Ben Sorer U'Moreh--The Rebellious Son" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, we read of the unusual case of the "Ben Sorer U'moreh," the disobedient…

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The Stolen Child

From the perspective of Jewish history, the story of Edgardo Levi Mortara was a minor event in a long history of Christian persecution. Nevertheless, it had an important impact on world…

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The Stolen Child

From the perspective of Jewish history, the story of Edgardo Levi Mortara was a minor event in a long history of Christian persecution. Nevertheless, it had an important impact on world…

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The Child Who Does Not Ask

Share the story of the Exodus with a child and help him/her think of a creative way to "relive" the experience of the Exodus.

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Child Rearing

Don't forget to praise the accomplishments of the children in your life.

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Kee Teitzei 5763-2003

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Child Rearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Teizei, we learn of a seemingly horrific Torah law, the statute of…

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Va’etchanan 5760-2000

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Parenting" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Wednesday evening (August 9) and Thursday (August 10), we will observe Tisha b'Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av,…

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Vayishlach 5768-2007

"The Birth of Benjamin, The Death of Rachel" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we read of an occasion that should have been a most joyous event in…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5767-2007

"The Conundrum of Childbirth" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Again, because of the calendrical nuances, this week's parashiot, Tazriah-Metzorah, are combined. While both parashiot deal…

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Shemot 5763-2002

"The Making of a Concerned Jewish Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The story of Joseph has come to a conclusion, and with the arrival of the children of Jacob in Egypt, G-d's…

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Va’etchanan 5779-2019

“The Torah’s Radical Approach to Parenting” (Revised and updated from Va’etchanan 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This past Saturday evening (August 10th) and Sunday…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5780-2020

“Challenging the Stereotypes: Purity and Impurity in Childbirth” (edited and revised from Parashiot Tazria-Metzorah 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In the first of…

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To Jew and Jew and Jew

Judaism is both a religion and a nationality. The Talmud teaches us (Shavuot 39a) “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh bazeh,” that all Jews are responsible (literally “guarantors”) for one another.…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5761-2001

"Challenging the Stereotypes: Purity and Impurity in Childbirth" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the first of the this coming week's double parashiot, Tazria-Mezorah, we encounter one of…

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Wish both Jews and Non-Jews a Happy and Successful Jewish New Year

On Rosh Hashana we celebrate the creation of the first human being. While only Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana, it is an important anniversary for all humankind.

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Bo 5762-2002

"Rituals Work, Rituals Work" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Bo, describes the final three plagues: locusts, darkness and the death of the first born,…

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Shemot 5780-2020

Shemot 5780-2020 “Developing Commitment to Judaism: A Lesson from an Egyptian Prince” (updated and revised from Shemot 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's…

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Shemot 5760-1999

"Commitment to Judaism: A lesson from Moshe" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shemot, we encounter one of the most challenging situations of…

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Bo 5777-2017

"And the People Bowed their Heads and Prostrated Themselves" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Chapter 12 of Exodus, that is found in this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, plays a crucial role in…

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Tazria 5771-2011

“Childbirth and Ritual Impurity” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Our latest grandchild, Yosef Yehudah Berger, was born to our children, Ayelet and Gavriel Berger, on Thursday, March 10th,…

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Vayishlach 5775-2014

“She Called His Name ‘Ben Oni’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob, after many years of separation, finally reunites with his long-estranged…

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Vayeishev 5771-2010

"Tamar: The Paradigm of an Heroic Woman” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we learn of Judah’s estrangement from his family after the sale of Joseph…

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Kee Teitzei 5780-2020

“Polygamy and Jewish Tradition” (Updated and revised from Kee Teitzei 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, we learn of the special…

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For The Mothers And Their Children

Sophie Irene Simon Loeb had no children of her own, but she dedicated her life to fighting for government support for widowed mothers. Her passionate campaign, which started after she did…

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Kee Teitzei 5761-2001

"Polygamy and Jewish Tradition" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Teizei, we learn of the special privileges accorded to the first born son. In…

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Does Life Begin at 40?

In 1932 Walter Pitkin published his popular self-help book, Life Begins at Forty. Truthfully, before the 20th century, life expectancy, on average, rarely exceeded 40. The number 40 is…

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Vayeira 5776-2015

“The Trials of Abraham” by Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, includes at least three of the ten trials that Abraham faced during his life. Pirkei Avot, Ethics of…

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Hannah and Her Sons

The story of Hannah and her seven sons is a story of the Jewish resistance to Antiochus' attempts to Hellenize the Jewish people around 166 B.C.E. When Antiochus demanded that Hannah's…

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