Rachel’s Influence

At the end of the patriarch Jacob’s life, Joseph brings his sons to his father for a blessing. This scene, recorded in Genesis 48, includes a seemingly odd statement by Jacob: "And as for…

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Western Wall History

The Western (Wailing*) Wall is the most accessible holiest location in Jewish life. With 28 rows of massive stones above ground (and 17 below), the wall itself is physically breathtaking.…

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Vayeitzei 5761-2000

"The Role of Mother Rachel in Jewish History" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we encounter Jacob as he is fleeing from Canaan, the home of his…

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Toledot 5773-2012

"The Sale of the Birthright" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn of the sale of the birthright by Esau to his twin brother Jacob. In order to…

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Vayeitzei 5777-2016

“The Great Deception” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we learn how Laban deceived Jacob by giving him Leah, his older daughter, to be Jacob’s…

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Chayei Sarah 5779-2018

“Abraham’s Eulogy for His Beloved Sarah”   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn of the passing of the Matriarch, Sarah, at age…

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Vayigash 5780-2019

“The Reunion of Jacob & Joseph: An Immortal Lesson about Love” (updated and revised from Vayigash 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, we…

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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…

Vayigash 5760-1999

"The Reunion of Jacob & Joseph: An Immortal Lesson About Love" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat Vayigash, we read of the dramatic reunion of Joseph and his…

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Korach 5762-2002

"The Origin of the Big Lie" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's Torah portion, parashat Korach, we read of Korach and his rebellion against G-d, Moses and Aaron. Although…

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Vayeitzei 5772-2011

“In Haran--A Kiss is Still a Kiss” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, Jacob, fleeing for his life from his brother Esau who has threatened to kill…

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Vayishlach 5777-2016

“Esau and Jacob Embrace and Kiss: Sincere or Insincere?” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob and Esau are reunited after twenty years…

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Jews and 2020

On Rosh Hashana eve 2007, late night comic, David Letterman, quipped, “It’s Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year 5768, and I’m still writing 5767 on my checks.” As Jews worldwide woke up…

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Thirty Days, The Shloshim

While the seven-day mourning period called shiva is well-known in the general American culture, Jewish mourning is actually a richly layered time period designed, seemingly, to ease the…

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The Saddest Day

When ten of the twelve scouts who were dispatched by Moses to survey the Promised Land returned with a negative report, God’s anger was kindled. The Almighty decreed that the adults of…

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Rachel’s Tomb

Kever Rochel, the Tomb of Rachel, in Bethlehem is considered to be the third holiest site in Jewish tradition, after the Temple Mount and The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The…

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Western Wall History

The Western (Wailing*) Wall is the holiest location in Jewish life. With 28 rows of massive stones above ground (and 17 below), the wall itself is physically breathtaking. Its holiness…

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Re’eh 5767-2007

"Prohibition Against Excessive Grief" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we learn of the prohibition of excessive mourning and grief for those who pass…

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Visiting Graves

Graveyard tours are often promoted in the month of October as an opportunity for spookiness. Judaism, however, encourages visiting the burial sites of relatives and holy people at all…

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Vayeitzei 5781-2020

“The Role of Mother Rachel in Jewish History” (updated and revised from Vayeitzei 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we encounter Jacob…

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