Thirty Days, The Shloshim

While the seven-day mourning period called shiva is well-known in the general American culture, Jewish mourning is actually a richly layered time period designed, seemingly, to ease the…

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Naso 5760-2000

"Traditional Judaism: Fundamentalist or Ascetic" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the curious law of the Nazir, the Nazarite. In…

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Vayeishev 5776-2015

“The Rise and Fall and Rise of Joseph” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, the Torah introduces the character of Joseph--the gifted and charismatic…

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Naso 5769-2009

"An Extreme Lifestyle" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter two particularly challenging themes. We read of the Sotah, a woman suspected of…

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Naso 5772-2012

"The Most Famous of All Nazarites--Samson" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald According to the Sefer Ha’Chinuch (the classic work on the 613 commandments, their rationale and their regulations,…

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Shoftim 5772-2012

"The Haughty Heart" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the many topics discussed in this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, are the rules and regulations that apply to a king of Israel.…

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What’s In the Book: Judges

Once in the promised land (Book of Joshua), the Israelites formed a commonwealth of 12 tribes loosely ruled by judges and elders. After the first generation, the Israelites fell into a…

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Your Mother’s Brother

There’s an old wives’ tale that a man’s hair pattern (i.e. baldness) can be predicted by the hair of his mother’s brother. The genetic veracity of this claim is debatable, but, according…

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What’s In The Book: Judges

Once in the promised land (Book of Joshua), the Israelites formed a commonwealth of 12 tribes loosely ruled by judges and elders. After the first generation, the Israelites fell into a…

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Re’eh 5767-2007

"Prohibition Against Excessive Grief" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we learn of the prohibition of excessive mourning and grief for those who pass…

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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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Tazria-Metzorah 5772-2012

“The Essential Ingredient for Repentance and Prayer--Humility” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Metzorah, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Tazria-Metzorah, we read of…

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Tazria 5774-2014

“The Jewish Attitude Toward Healing and Medicine” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tazria, opens with the laws concerning purification of a woman after…

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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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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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Terumah 5776-2016

“Charity–the Only True Possession” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, we read of the Israelites’ overwhelmingly generous response to the appeal for…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5778-2018

"Bringing G-d Home” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s double parshiyot, Vayakhel-Pekudei, pose a significant challenge to all students of Torah. In this week’s parshiyot, the Torah…

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Kee Teitzei 5778-2018

"The Impact of Performing Mitzvot" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, has more mitzvot than any other parasha in the Torah, featuring a total of 74…

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Korach 5780-2020

“Achieving the Good Life by Picking the Right Mate” (updated and revised from parashat Korach 5761-2001)   by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat…

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Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av The saddest day in the Jewish calendar, believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy.  Guide…

Enjoy!

Cut your hair, trim your beard and sit back and enjoy some Jewish music.

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Never Judge a Human Book by Its Cover

Genetic traits such as hair color do not determine how individuals behave. Be careful not to stereotype or even make assumptions about people based on their external features.

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Instruct Your Barber

Explain to your barber prior to your haircut how you want him or her to cut your hair, both aesthetically and religiously.

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Snip

Let your hair grow long and then donate it to be used in wigs for cancer patients. Two organizations that provide this service are Locks of Love or Chai Lifeline.

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5769-2009

"Farewell to a Great Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Vayeilech, the second of this week's combined parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, Moses bids a final farewell to the…

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Who Was a Nazirite?

One of the topics found in Parashat Naso concerns the Nazirite. The Nazirite is a man or woman who vows to avoid the vices of wine and grape products, to avoid any contact with the dead…

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Haazinu 5762-2001

"The Ten Days of Teshuvah: A Propitious Time for Repentance" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On Wednesday night, September 26th, the tenth of Tishrei, Jews the world over will gather in…

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Va’eira 5761-2001

"The Subtle Slavery" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Va'eira, G-d promises Moshe that the Jewish people will ultimately be redeemed. Again and again…

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Tazria 5768-2008

"The Odd Ritual Practices of the Metzorah!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald According to rabbinic tradition, the "tzah'ra'aht" affliction is not a bodily disease, but a physical…

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Emor 5770-2010

"Striving For Perfection" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Much of parashat Emor speaks of holiness, faultlessness, striving for perfection and the proper observance of the holy days. In…

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