Total Eclipse

Last night/early this morning, North Americans were able to view a complete lunar eclipse. While this is not a rare occurrence, it is always a fascinating event. One might expect the…

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Rejoicing For The World

Among the unique rituals performed on the holiday of Sukkot were the additional offerings that were sacrificed in the ancient Temple. On the first day of the holiday, 13 young bulls were…

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His Wife Saved His Life

Ohn the son of Pelet was a Reubenite who fell under the sway of a rebellious Levite named Korach. Korach felt that a great injustice had been perpetrated in Aaron’s appointment to the…

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Plenty of Honors

The birth of a baby boy is exciting and, at the same time, nerve-racking. In addition to adjusting to the baby, dad and mom must prepare for the brit milah, the circumcision ceremony,…

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The Original Prenuptial Agreement

Did you know that it is a custom among some Jewish households to display their “prenuptial” agreements on the wall? It’s called a ketubah (marriage contract), presented by the husband to…

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What is Isru Chag?

The day after vacation is often a time of distraction and disorientation. The same is true of the day following a religious holiday, especially after one of the week-long holidays…

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Can You Count To 49?

There is a Biblical commandment (Leviticus 23:15) to count the 49 days that immediately follow the first night of Passover and, on the 50th night, to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot.…

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Setting The Seder Table

Before beginning the Seder, it is important to make certain that everything necessary is available. No Seder table is complete without the following: 1) Three Unbroken (Kosher for…

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Sabbath Prayers: Ein Keh’lo’hay’nu/There Is None Like Our God

There is no one (or thing) like God, and, when all is said and done, this is the essence of everything that a Jew says and does. Only God can create the world. Only God can be master of…

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Two Days of Festival

Leviticus 23:34-36: “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month is the Feast of Tabernacles ... On the first day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of creative labor. For…

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Remembering the Akeidah

In neither of the two Torah references to the holiday of Rosh Hashana (Leviticus 23:23-25, Numbers 29:1), is there a specific mention of the shofar,…

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The Miracles of the Temple

The Jewish liturgy is filled with reminders of how we should mourn the loss of the Holy Temple, with prayers asking God to return the Holy Temple to us. While it is common knowledge, from…

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What Is Chabad?

Chabad-Lubavitch is a chassidic movement founded by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812) in the White Russian town of Lubavitch. Chabad is an acronym for chochma (wisdom), binah…

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Wise As Solomon

King Solomon is best known for his brilliance and wisdom, attributes that were actually a requested gift from God. It happened this way: One night, God spoke to Solomon in a dream and…

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A Vow Like No Other

Jews are not ascetics. In fact, according to Jewish philosophy, the Jew’s job is to take the physical and draw out its spiritual nature. One can’t do that when trying to avoid the…

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Can You Count To 49?

There is a Biblical commandment (Leviticus 23:15) to count the 49 days that immediately follow the first night of Passover and, on the 50th night, to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot.…

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Paschal Lamb – A Unique Commandment

While most Jews have attended a Passover Seder, no Jew in the last 1,900 years has tasted a Paschal lamb (“Korban Pesach”), the animal offering associated with Passover that shares the…

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No Stumbling Blocks, Please

The prohibition “Do not put a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14) seems like an odd commandment. After all, who but a truly mischievous, mean-spirited prankster would put…

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Water, Water Everywhere

Sukkot is considered the holiday on which God determines the world’s water allotment for the year to come. During the time of the Temple, the week of Sukkot was highlighted by the water…

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Tzav 5769-2009

"Judaism's Upbeat View of the Past" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week's parasha, parashat Vayikra, the Torah addressed its message to those Israelites who sought to atone for a…

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Re’eh 5769-2009

"The Chosen People–Again!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we once again encounter the challenging concept of the "Chosenness" of Israel. After…

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Noah 5768-2007

"Noah: A Biblical Profile" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald When compared to the dynamic Abraham and even to the self-indulgent Adam, Noah often pales in comparison to these two great fathers…

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Lech Lecha 5765-2004

"Was Hagar Abused?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, we are introduced to our great patriarch and matriarch, Abraham and his wife, Sarah. These…

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Pekudei 5763-2003

"The Lesson of the Basin: 'Don't Judge a Book by its Cover'" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Pekudei, opens with a reckoning of all the precious materials that…

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Naso 5764-2004

"Our Brother, Our Sister--the Proselyte" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Naso, we learn of an interesting law concerning a person who takes possession of…

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Rejoicing For The World

Among the unique rituals performed on the holiday of Sukkot were the additional offerings that were sacrificed in the ancient Temple. On the first day of the holiday, 13 young bulls were…

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Feast of Weeks

Shavuot, which we begin celebrating Saturday night (May 19th), is the only holiday in the Torah not listed by the date on which it is to be observed. Rather, the Torah teaches that this…

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The Feast of Weeks

Shavuot, which we begin celebrating next Saturday night (June 8), is the only holiday not listed in the Torah by the date on which it is to be observed. Rather, the Torah teaches that…

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Rejoicing For The World

Among the unique rituals performed on the holiday of Sukkot were the additional offerings that were sacrificed in the ancient Temple. On the first day of the holiday, 13 young bulls were…

Read More

Setting the Seder Table

Before beginning the Seder, it is important to make certain that everything necessary is available. No Seder table is complete without the following: 1) Three Unbroken Matzot (Kosher for…

Read More