Masei 5765-2005

"The Role of Witnesses and Testimony" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As last year was a leap year, this year is one of the rare occasions where, outside of Israel, parashat Masei is read…

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Yitro 5773-2013

"The Third Commandment: Against Perjury and Profane Swearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, we encounter the first of the two references to the Ten…

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Shabbat Prayers

Learn AboutShabbat Prayers Table of Contents Morning Blessings (Birkhot Hashachar) Verses of Praise (Pesukei Dezimrah)…

Va’etchanan 5764-2004

"The Dialectic of Body and Soul" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Va'etchanan, we encounter several weighty and significant texts. Among the most prominent…

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Vayechi 5773-2012

"The Patriarch Jacob Did Not Die!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s Torah portion, parashat Vayechi, the patriarch Jacob, passes away at age 147. The Torah, in Genesis 49:33,…

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Matot-Masei 5773-2013

“Pinchas Avenges the Midianites” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we read of how Pinchas the son of Elazar kills Zimri and Cozbi, who had performed a…

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Hand on the Bible

The classic courtroom image portrays a witness standing in the dock, right hand raised and left hand resting gently on the Bible. The witness is then asked: "Do you solemnly swear to tell…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5763-2003

"Choosing Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There's something very distinctive about the arrival of the Jewish New Year. Whenever the Jewish High Holiday season draws near there's always…

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Devarim 5772-2012

"The Al-mighty’s Relationship with the Nations of the World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have previously noted on several occasions (Devarim 5765-2005), the book of Devarim…

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Noah 5774-2013

"Making a Name for Ourselves" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Noah, contains a plethora of fascinating narratives. The most famous story recorded in this week’s…

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Bamidbar 5775-2015

“Finding Value in Every Task” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, the Torah describes the structure and layout of the camp of Israel in the wilderness.…

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Behar 5779-2019

“Wronging One Another, the Torah’s Unique Viewpoint” (Revised and updated from Behar 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Behar, we twice…

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Seek Out Faith Banners

Faith, by its very nature, cannot be proven. But events we encounter and witness can help bolster our faith. Seek out those inspired events.

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The Source of Leadership

Great leaders can move mountains...or at least, masses of people. Ezra the Scribe was just such a leader, and it was his charisma and wisdom that inspired the Jews to leave their…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5766-2006

"Standing Idly By" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald An extraordinary number of mitzvot are found in the double parashiot that are read this week. Together, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim contain…

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Haazinu 5763-2002

"On the Anniversary of September 11th" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming Shabbat, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is known as Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of…

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Tzav 5762-2002

"Understanding Shabbat Hagadol" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week, we read the second parasha of the book of Leviticus, parashat Tzav. This Shabbat, the Shabbat which…

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Yitro 5762-2002

"Structural Secrets of the Decalogue" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we encounter the Aseret Ha'dibrot, the Ten Commandments.…

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Bechukotai 5765-2005

"Achieving Peace and Security for the Jewish People" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Bechukotai, we encounter the first of the two tochachot--portions of…

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Korach 5766-2006

"The Lesson of the Fire-pans" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Korach, Korach, Datan, Aviram and the 250 leaders of Israel rebel against Moses and Aaron. In…

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Devarim 5771-2011

“The Responsibility not to be Misled” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, the fifth book of the Torah, which bears the same name as the parasha,…

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Bo 5772-2012

"The Plague of Darkness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we learn of the eighth, ninth and tenth of the ten plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of…

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Shelach 5772-2012

"Had I Only Known!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, is a particularly depressing Torah portion. It is sad not only because of the evil report that the…

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Eikev 5772-2012

"Loving the Stranger" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, the Torah boldly pronounces the positive mitzvah of loving the stranger. In Deuteronomy 10:19,…

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Noah 5777-2016

“Why was the World Destroyed by a Flood?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Noah, features the destruction of the world at G-d's hands, by a massive flood that…

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Vayigash 5778-2017

“Jacob’s Enhanced Joy from Joseph His Righteous Son”   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, after 22 years of separation, the elderly Patriarch Jacob, is reunited with his…

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Shemot 5779-2018

“Getting the Jews Out of Egypt-–Two Views” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we read of the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt by Pharaoh, as well as the…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5767-2007

"The Choosing People" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald It surely cannot be mere coincidence that parashiot Nitzavim and Vayeilech are always read in the weeks that immediately precede or…

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The Sadducee King Yannai

Alexander Jannaeus (Yannai or Y’honatan in Hebrew) served as the second Hasmonean king of Judea from 103 BCE until his death in 76 BCE. The third son of John Hyrcanus, he succeeded his…

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Kee Tavo 5768-2008

"Redeeming Captives" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Tavo is one of two parashiot in the Torah that are known as the Tochacha, G-d's reproach of the Jewish people. In this Torah…

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