Chayei Sarah 5778-2017

“Who is Eliezer the Damascan?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we read of the death and burial of Sarah, the betrothal and marriage of…

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Toledot 5762-2001

"The Deception of Isaac" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we encounter in Genesis 27 the well known story of Isaac's attempt to bless Esau.…

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Chayei Sarah 5777-2016

“Sarah Dies at Age 127” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, opens with the grim news of the passing of the great Matriarch, Sarah, at age 127. The…

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Vayeira 5778-2017

“The Alliance with Abimelech” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, is a rich parasha containing many important topics, including the destruction of Sodom,…

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Toledot 5778-2017

“Isaac’s Unconditional Love for Esau” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we read of the birth of Esau and Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when his wife,…

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Chayei Sarah 5769-2008

"Mourning and Eulogizing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although this week's Torah portion is entitled Chayei Sarah, which literally means "the life of Sarah," the opening part of the…

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Jews and 2020

On Rosh Hashana eve 2007, late night comic, David Letterman, quipped, “It’s Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year 5768, and I’m still writing 5767 on my checks.” As Jews worldwide woke up…

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Vayigash 5768-2007

"And Jacob Sent Judah Ahead" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As Jacob finalizes his plans to leave Canaan and reunite with his beloved son Joseph in Egypt, he sends a distinguished emissary…

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Vayeira 5761-2000

"Mount Moriah: Building for the Future Through Love" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Last week's parasha, parashat Lech L'cha, began with G-d saying to Avram, Gen 12:1: "Lech l'cha…

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Toledot 5767-2006

"The Unanswered Prayer" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Toledot, focuses on the life of the patriarch Isaac and his relationships with his wife, Rebecca and his…

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Vayeira 5781-2020

“Mount Moriah: Building for the Future through Love” (updated and revised from Vayeira 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Last week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, began with G-d…

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Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah

- Shemini Atzeret / Simchat TorahThe Gathering of the 8th Shemini Atzeret, literally the Gathering of the…

Devarim 5777-2017

“The Transformation of Moses is Completed” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, we begin reading the fifth and final book of the Torah, known as…

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Simchat Torah 5767-2006

"The Evolving Holiday" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The festival of Simchat Torah is one of the most joyous of the Jewish calendar. In Israel, following the conclusion of the festival of…

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Haazinu 5760-1999

"The Final Song" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Haazinu, contains the final song which Moshe sings before his death. This is the song to which Moshe alluded in…

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Bo 5768-2008

"Is This What You Call Borrowing?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Bo we learn that after the ninth plague, the plague of darkness, Pharaoh has reached his wit's end, and agrees…

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Bamidbar 5781-2021

“Counting on the People of Israel" (updated and revised from Bamidbar 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As this week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, opens, the Jews are found in the…

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Israel’s First Spy

While religious Jews acknowledge that the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel is a Divine gift, God appoints his messengers to facilitate His work, including…

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Mishpatim 5763-2003

"Justice! Justice!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Mishpatim, contains an abundance of laws that cover a vast array of Jewish civil and criminal…

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Levi Eshkol

No leader wants to send troops to their deaths in battle. But facing the destruction of one’s nation is a trial no leader should ever face. Israel’s second Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol,…

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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…

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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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Kee Tisah 5776-2016

  “Moses Pleads on Behalf of the People of Israel” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, features the infamous sin of the Golden Calf. The Al-mighty…

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Naso 5780-2020

The Ordeal of the Sotah -- Barbaric or Enlightened? (Revised and Updated from Parashat Naso 5761-2001) by Rabbi Ephraim Z.  Buchwald This week’s Torah portion, Naso, with 176 verses, is…

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Impeachment and the Jewish Tradition

On February 24, 1868, a U.S. president was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time. Three months later, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson. 35…

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Rebuke for Good

It is “human nature” to question the ups and downs of life. Of course, people mostly question the downs of life. The Jewish view of the world, however, is that nothing happens by chance.…

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Maryland’s Jews

While the mid-Atlantic State of Maryland is often associated with un-kosher seafood, Maryland has a vibrant history of Jewish settlement. The state of Maryland’s “Act to Extend to the…

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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…

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Against Corruption

Today, December 9th, has been designated as International Anti-Corruption Day. Corruption is a terrible blight on organized civilization. Anyone with even a small amount of power, can…

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Sand, Sun and Jewish History

Ninety-nine years ago today, Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas (as well as the smaller surrounding islands) were transferred from the dominion of Denmark to the possession of the…

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