The Center of Worship

When the Jews wandered in the wilderness, sacrificial services were performed by the kohanim (priests) in the Mishkan (Tabernacle). After King David conquered Jerusalem, his son and…

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Shoftim 5775-2015

“Idolatrous Trees and Unqualified Judges” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we learn of the prohibition of planting forbidden trees and erecting…

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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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Re’eh 5773-2013

"How Far Must We Go to Avoid Evil?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we learn of the Biblical command that the People of Israel must destroy all…

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Re’eh 5765-2005

"The Sanctity of Land and its Implications" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the topics discussed in this coming week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, is the sanctity of the Land of Israel.…

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Yitro 5764-2004

"Why G-d Cannot Share the Limelight" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Yitro, the Al-mighty reveals Himself to the People of Israel on Mt. Sinai and…

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The Second Commandment

You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor any manner of likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, that is in the earth beneath, or…

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Yitro 5775-2015

“I Shall Come to You and Bless You” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, after the dramatic pronouncement of the Ten Commandments at Sinai, the Torah, once…

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Terumah 5777-2017

“ זִיכּוּי הָרַבִּים - Meriting the Broader Jewish Community” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, we read of the commandment to build a Tabernacle, a…

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Acharei Mot 5774-2014

“Prelude to Holiness” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The name of this week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot, literally means “in the aftermath of the deaths of Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Abihu.”…

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Precious Children

One of the cardinal commandments of Jewish life is the prohibition of worshiping false gods. In fact, idolatry is one of three commandments for which a person is supposed to sacrifice…

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Terumah 5770-2010

"Earning a Meaningful Living" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Terumah is the first of the five concluding parashiot of the book of Exodus that describe the building of the…

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Kee Tisah 5778-2018

Safeguarding the Covenant by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, focuses primarily on the sin of the Golden Calf and Moses' successful invocation of…

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Why Am I Not Interested in Idols?

There is an interesting dialogue between the elders of Rome and the sages of Israel recorded in Talmud Avodah Zarah 55a:  [Rome]: "If [your God] has no desire for idolatry, why does…

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Nimrod

The great military villains have usually been brilliant, determined and, it is often suggested, megalomanic. In which case they are very much the spiritual descendants of Nimrod. Nimrod,…

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Va’etchanan 5774-2014

“The Prediction of Return” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, is always read after the Fast of the 9th of Av and after the conclusion of the period…

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Pinchas 5764-2004

"The Conundrum of Pinchas: Do His Actions Set an Unacceptable Precedent?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Pinchas, we encounter the final chapter of…

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December 2001

Table of Contents A Glimmer of Light Read Hebrew America/Canada NJOP Volunteers Boston University Hillel Augusta, GA Governor Pataki Salutes NJOP Sam Domb’s Dedication The…

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Kee Tavo 5772-2012

“Persecution’s ‘Silver Lining’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, is one of two weekly Torah portions that contain the verses known as the “Tochacha ,”…

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Bo 5773-2013

"Interfacing with the Non-Jewish World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we read of the last three plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of the…

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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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Terumah 5779-2019

“The Mishkan: Underscoring the Centrality of the Home in Jewish Life” (Revised and updated from Terumah 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat…

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Kedoshim 5779-2019

“The Revolutionary Idea of Holiness’” (Revised and updated from Kedoshim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Kedoshim, we encounter a…

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Shabbat Prayers

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

Noah 5767-2006

"The Curse of Ham; The Blessing of Shem and Yafet" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Those who harbor possible doubts about the Divine authorship of the Torah had better come up with some…

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Bo 5770-2010

"Finding Favor in the Eyes of the Egyptians" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bo, the ninth plague, darkness, strikes. In response to the plague, Pharaoh…

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Emor 5766-2006

"Striving for Perfection" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Emor, the theme of perfection is repeated many times in several related contexts. In Leviticus…

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Kee Tisah 5769-2009

"An Opportunity for Those Who Seek to Repent" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we learn of the grave sin committed by the People of Israel who…

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Kee Tisah 5768-2008

"Moses Shatters the Tablets" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read the dramatic story of Moses receiving the tablets of the Ten Commandments…

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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…

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