Mishpatim 5777-2017

“Majority Rule " This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, is one of the most content-rich parashiot in the entire Torah. Mishpatim, which literally means “laws” or “rules,” serves as the…

Read More

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…

Read More

Kee Teitzei 5760-2000

"Polygamy, Illegitimacy and Punishing the Innocent" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Kee Teizei, is the parasha that contains more mitzvot than any other parasha…

Read More

Kee Teitzei 5779-2019

“Polygamy, Illegitimacy and Punishing the Innocent” (Revised and updated from Kee Teitzei 5760-2000)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei,…

Read More

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…

Read More

Off With His Head

Capital punishment is one of the modern era’s great controversies. Does a judicial system have the right to sentence a person to death? Like most such controversial topics, similar…

Read More

The Great Sanhedrin

In ancient times, the court system of Israel was dominated by two forms of large courts. The smaller of the large courts known as "Small Sanhedrins," were composed of 23 sages each, and…

Read More

The Great Sanhedrin

In ancient times, the court system of Israel was dominated by two forms of large courts. The smaller courts, known as “small sanhedrins,” were composed of 23 sages each and were located…

Read More

Pinchas 5767-2007

"Rosh Chodesh, the Modest Holiday" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Pinchas opens with the Al-mighty praising Pinchas, grandson of Aaron the High Priest, for fatally stabbing Zimri,…

Read More

Naso 5775-2015

“The Fine Nuances of Jealousy” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, includes the very challenging portion about the Sotah, the woman who is suspected of being…

Read More

Balak 5771-2011

"Taking the Law Into One’s Own Hand" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the conclusion of this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, we learn that after Bilaam’s failed attempts to curse the…

Read More

Kee Teitzei 5768-2008

"The 'Mitzvah' of Divorce" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have previously noted, parashat Kee Teitzei contains the largest number of mitzvot of any parasha in the Torah. According to…

Read More

Devarim 5765-2005

"The Book of Deuteronomy–Mishneh Torah and the Purpose of Repetition" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Devarim, marks the commencement of the fifth book of the…

Read More

Kee Tavo 5770-2010

"Secret Transgressions" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, we once again encounter the Tochacha, G-d’s reproval of the Jewish people. The Tochacha…

Read More

Shoftim 5777-2017

“Judaism and the Principle of the Sanctity of Human Life” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, focuses, for the most part, on the principle of the…

Read More

Mishpatim 5778-2018

“Heaven Made Me Do It!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, serves as the basis of the Hebrew system of jurisprudence. It is the fourth most numerous…

Read More

Hey Cuz!

Today is celebrated as “Cousins Day.” Those whose parents have siblings, often have many great memories from shared family events, enjoyed in the company of cousins. With access to the…

Read More

The Trouble with Casual Blasphemy

On February 23, 1658, Jacob Lumbrozo was brought before a judge in the colony of Maryland and tried for blasphemy. In a world such as ours today, it is hard to imagine someone being taken…

Read More

Place Your Bets

The Talmud states that professional gamblers are among the four types of people who are deemed ineligible to serve as witnesses or judges (in addition to usurers, pigeon trainers and…

Read More

Rosh Chodesh

The very first commandment that was given to the entire Jewish nation was the commandment to celebrate the appearance of the new moon. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of…

Read More

Rosh Chodesh

The very first commandment that was given to the entire Jewish nation was the commandment to celebrate the appearance of the new moon. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of…

Read More

Tzav 5767-2007

"Karayt--The Dreaded Heavenly Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Warning: This week's Dvar Torah is not for the fainthearted. In this week's parasha, parashat Tzav, the Al-mighty…

Read More

Shelach 5779-2019

"Finding Meaning in the Rituals" (Revised and updated from Shelach 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, concludes with the well-known…

Read More

Emor 5764-2004

"The Blasphemer - A Midrashic View" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Emor, deals, for the most part, with the laws of the Cohanim--the Priests. These…

Read More

Emor 5781-2021

"The Blasphemer - A Midrashic View" (Updated and revised from Emor 5764-2004) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week’s parasha, parashat Emor, is, for the most part, concerned…

Read More

Kee Teitzei 5766-2006

"The Mitzvah of Marriage, Kiddushin and Ketuvah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Teitzei is a fascinating parasha, containing the largest number of mitzvot of any parasha in the…

Read More

Kee Tavo 5765-2005

"Contemporary Implications of an Ancient Ritual" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In our analysis of parashat Kee Tavo for 2003/5763, we reviewed the message of the extraordinary confession…

Read More

Mishpatim 5764-2004

"The Al-mighty's Concern for the Dignity of the Human Being" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have previously noted, Parashat Mishpatim essentially establishes the structure of…

Read More

Vayakhel-Pekudei 5764-2004

"Celebrating the Month of Nisan" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming Shabbat, the final Shabbat in the Hebrew month of Adar, is also known as Shabbat Parashat HaChodesh. An…

Read More

Naso 5761-2001

"The Ordeal of the Sotah - Barbaric or Enlightened?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's Torah portion, Naso, with 176 verses, is the longest parasha of the Torah, and always…

Read More