Vayigash 5764-2003

"The Secret of Jewish Survival in Exile?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayigash, the exciting story of Joseph and his brothers draws to a conclusion. Joseph instructs his…

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Shelach 5766-2006

"Who was Caleb?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Shelach is probably the saddest parasha in the Torah. It is in this weekly portion that the Israelite men of the Exodus generation…

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Shoftim 5770-2010

"Enmity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, we once again encounter the concept of the City of Refuge. It is to the City of Refuge that an…

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Ordaining with Both Hands

Semicha, which connotes rabbinic ordination, as understood today, consists of passing proficiency exams and receiving permission from one’s teachers to rule on questions of Jewish law.…

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Sources Commentators

Abarbanel (1437-1508, Spanish statesman, philosopher and commentator) Achad Ha’Am (Asher Zvi Hirsh Ginsberg, 1856-1927) AJOP (Association for Jewish Outreach Programs) Akeidat Yitzchak…

A Famous Family of Translators

In the early Middle Ages, the global Jewish community was basically divided between those living in lands controlled by the church and those in lands controlled by the Arabs. The dominant…

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What’s in the Book- the Twelve Prophets – Micah

The Book of Micah contains prophecy directed at both Samaria (Israel) and Jerusalem (Judah) by the prophet Micah, who lived in Judah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings…

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Origin of the “Jew”ish Species

If the nation that was redeemed from Egyptian bondage and experienced revelation at Sinai was known as the Israelites, or the Children of Israel, why are they now called “Jews”? After…

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Tetzaveh 5769-2009

"The Urim and Tumim--The Mysterious Priestly Accessory" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, is concerned primarily with the vestments of the priests.…

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Bamidbar 5769-2009

"Bringing Order to the Camp of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Bamidbar, the people of Israel are instructed to build a camp in the wilderness. G-d…

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Naso 5771-2011

"Finding Variety in the Seemingly Identical" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, is the longest parasha of the Torah. It is usually read on the Shabbat that…

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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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Vayechi 5780-2020

"The Critical Importance of Timing" (updated and revised from Vayechi 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, includes almost a full chapter…

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Vayigash 5761-2001

"Joseph Helps His Brothers Repent" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Maimonides, the great Jewish codifier and philosopher (1135 - 1204) writes at the beginning of the second chapter of the Laws…

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Vayakehel-Pekudei 5766-2006

"Lessons of Leadership from the Resume of an Architect" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the first of this week's two parashiot, parashat Vayakhel, Moses selects the craftsmen who are to…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5767-2007

"The Tribe of Dan Traveled Last" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Beha'alotecha, we read of the first journey in the wilderness that the people of Israel took…

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What’s In The Book: Obadiah

The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book of Tanach (Biblical canon), only one chapter long. It is directed at the nation of Edom, not at either of the Jewish kingdoms. Obadiah spoke out…

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Vayigash 5781-2020

“Joseph Helps His Brothers Repent” (updated and revised from Vayigash 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Maimonides writes, at the beginning of the second chapter of the Laws of…

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Pinchas 5772-2012

“Transferring Power” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn of the transfer of the leadership of Israel from Moses to Joshua. In Numbers 27:12,…

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Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik

Few personalities have done as much to define the Modern Orthodox Jewish community as Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik (1903-1993). Not only did “the Rav,” as he is referred to reverently by…

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The Origins of Formal Jewish Education in the United States

Today, thankfully, there are hundreds of Jewish elementary schools in the United States that teach both Judaic and general studies. The paradigm for this movement was the founding of…

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Hebrew Union College

In honor of Jewish-American History Month, Jewish Treats presents the history of Hebrew Union College. Bohemian-born Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (born Weiss, 1819-1900) arrived in the United…

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Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik

Few personalities have done as much to define the Modern Orthodox Jewish community as Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik (1903-1993). Not only did “the Rav,” as he is referred to reverently by…

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Shoftim 5767-2007

"The King of Israel: The Privileged and Obligated Monarch" By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Shoftim, we read the biblical statement regarding appointing a king in Israel. The…

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Pinchas 5774-2014

“The Battle for Women’s Rights” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, the five daughters of Zelophehad plead for the right to inherit their father’s…

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Emor 5775-2015

“Distractions, Distractions!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s Torah portion, parashat Emor, opens with an extensive series of laws regarding the conduct of the Kohanim, the…

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Vayeitzei 5777-2016

“The Great Deception” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we learn how Laban deceived Jacob by giving him Leah, his older daughter, to be Jacob’s…

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B’shalach 5780-2020

“Where is Nachshon the Son of Aminadov When We Need Him?” (Updated and revised from B’shalach 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach,…

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Today I am a Man, Sort Of

In today’s day and age, it is difficult to fathom how the rabbis could deem a twelve or thirteen year old child even remotely mature enough to be considered an adult. In truth, however,…

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B’shalach 5761-2001

"Where is Nachshon, the Son of Aminadav, When We Need Him?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat B'shalach, describes G-d's miraculous salvation of the Jewish…

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