Protecting Widows

June 23rd is the official date recognized by the United Nations as International Widows Day. The day was first observed in 2005, and, in 2010, it was ratified by the U.N. to address “the…

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Mishpatim 5768-2008

"Showing Sensitivity to the Helpless and the Downtrodden" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 53 mitzvot that are found in parashat Mishpatim (23 positive and 30 negative) are a series…

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Parasha of the Month

This Shabbat is Parashat HaChodesh, the Sabbath of “The Month.” The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional reading) after the conclusion of the reading…

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Carrying On Shabbat

The last of the 39 melachot* (creative works prohibited on Shabbat) is that of carrying between a private and a public space. How is carrying a creative work? The…

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Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah

Tonight starts the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, literally the Gathering of the Eighth, a connected, yet independent holiday, that immediately follows Sukkot. During the seven days of…

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Mishpatim 5774-2014

“Oh’na’ah–Taking Unfair Advantage of the Weak” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, contains 53 of the 613 commandments, 30 negative commandments and 23…

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The Story of Chanukah

The Story of Chanukah Around the year 167 B.C.E., the Syrian-Greek rulers of Judea tried to force the Jews to assimilate into Hellenic culture. They summoned the Jews to the town squares…

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Put On a Happy Face

"When one shows his teeth [smiles] to his fellow man, it is better than giving him milk to drink" (Talmud Ketubot 111b). How does the song go? “When you’re smiling the whole…

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Purim’s Villainess

Anyone familiar with the basic Purim story knows that the primary enemy of the Jewish people was Haman. What may not be as well-known is that there are several other…

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What’s in the Book: Joshua

The Book of Joshua (Yehoshua) is the first of the ten books known as Nevi'im, the Books of the Prophets. It begins after Moses’ death, when Joshua bin Nun assumed the leadership of…

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Parasha of the Month

This Shabbat is Parashat HaChodesh, the Sabbath of “The Month.” The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional reading) after the conclusion of the reading…

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Chanukah: What’s the Mitzvah

Here's a quiz:What is the primary mitzvah of Chanukah? a) Eating latkes (potato pancakes)b) Giving Chanukah gifts or gelt (money)c) Publicizing the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 daysd)…

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Chanukah Yum

While Jewish holidays are known for their food (except Yom Kippur, of course), most of these foods are not known for being particularly healthy. Chanukah is no exception. Forget…

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God’s Secret Things

In less than a week, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated. While New Year’s celebrations are nice (the Jewish calendar actually has four of them!), Rosh Hashana’s…

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Appreciate Adoption

Express appreciation to all the people you know who have taken on the difficult task of raising children.

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At Home

If you are unable to attend a Shabbat Across America and Canada location, try Shabbat Across America and Canada at Home.

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Eikev 5771-2011

"Finding the Greatness of G-d in His Humility" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, Moses continues his valedictory address to the Jewish people. In one of the most powerful…

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Gentle Ways

Speak gently to someone who is recently bereaved.  

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What’s Up

Call your local synagogue or Jewish institution(s) to find out what educational programs they are offering.

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The Purim Story in Under 300 Words

At the end of a 180-day feast, the King of Persia-Medea, Achashverosh, banished (some say executed) his wife, Vashti, for refusing to appear at his banquet. He then staged an…

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The Foods of Tu B’Shevat

This Shabbat, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B'Shevat, the new year of the trees. Tu B'Shevat is often celebrated with the 7 species for which the…

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What’s the Complaint?

People always like to complain. It is a fact. Sometimes they have legitimate complaints, and sometimes they don’t. Suffice it to say, however, that most often the reaction to the…

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What’s With The Salt

At every Shabbat meal, the blessing of Ha'mo'tzee (the blessing over bread) is recited over two complete loaves of bread. This 'bread' is usually the braided loaves known as…

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Bows and Arrows

Lag Ba'omer, the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar. Its observance commemorates the end of a tragic plague that took the lives of nearly…

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Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Rashbi), whose yahrtzeit is on Lag Ba’omer, was one the five students who began studying with Rabbi Akiva after the horrible plague that…

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Lag Ba’Omer

The period of mourning* (for the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died of plague) associated with Sefirat Ha’omer is not observed on the 33rd day of the Omer, a day known…

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Dipping Plagues

On the night of the seder, and whenever one recounts the story of the Exodus, the recitation of the 10 plagues presents a particularly dramatic moment. It is interesting to note that the…

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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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Forgiven Love – A Parable

The last parasha (weekly Torah reading) of the Book of Exodus focuses almost exclusively on the conclusion of the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle). Already though, a fair number of…

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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…

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