Shoftim 5763-2003

"Astrology, Witchcraft and Spiritualism in Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's Torah portion, Parashat Shoftim, the Torah describes the vital role of the prophet. Moses…

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Balak 5768-2008

"The 'Mazal Tov' Conundrum" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, Balaam, the prophet to the nations, offers a series of four prophecies. The first three…

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Sorcerers Beware

In Sanhedrin 67b, Rabbi Ashi states that he saw “Karna’s father blow his nose violently and streamers of silk issued from his nostrils.” Some magic tricks really do stem from ancient…

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Mishpatim 5779-2019

“From Seemingly Obscure Laws, the Torah Teaches the Ultimate Value of the Sanctity of Human Life”(Revised and updated from Mishpatim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming…

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Mishpatim 5761-2001

"The 'Sophisticated' and 'Unsophisticated' Criminal" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Mishpatim, is a lawyer's dream and a layman's nightmare. There are…

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Mishpatim 5760-2000

"From Seemingly Obscure Laws, the Torah Teaches the Ultimate Value of the Sanctity of Human Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Mishpatim, which…

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Acharei Mot 5771-2011

"The Unfathomable Practice of Molech Worship" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In Leviticus 18, the last chapter of this week's parasha, parashat Acharei Mot, we encounter a long list of…

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Mishpatim 5780-2020

“The ‘Sophisticated’ and ‘Unsophisticated’ Criminal” (updated and revised from Mishpatim 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, is a…

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The Truth About Mitzvot

It is recorded in the Midrash Rabbah that Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai was once confronted by a man who challenged him about the purifying ritual of the Red Heifer (click here for details)…

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No Need To Compare

Studies in comparative religion focus on the similarities of different religions. It is fascinating to note the way religions overlap. For instance, the dietary laws of Jews and Muslims…

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The Nations of Canaan

The people who lived in the Land of Canaan are often referred to as the Canaanites, but this was actually only the name of one of several nations of Canaan. Today’s Jewish Treat presents…

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A King, a Ghost and a Witch

Across the Western world, children are reveling in the realm of the un-dead, an off-shoot of a distinctly non-Jewish holiday (Halloween). Yet the underlying interest in ghosts, goblins…

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Mishpatim 5767-2007

"The Hebrew Maidservant is Alive and Well" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat Misphatim (literally, "laws"), G-d sets much of the structure of Jewish civil…

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