Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5775-2015

"Having Thoughts About False Gods" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, the Torah strictly prohibits Jews…

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Re’eh 5775-2015

“The Prohibition of Eating the Limb of a Live Animal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, contains 55 mitzvot--17 positive and 38 negative commandments. It…

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Vayeitzei 5776-2015

“Disclosing Personal Information For Shidduch Purposes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, Jacob, who is fleeing from his brother Esau, follows his…

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Kee Teitzei 5776-2016

“The Mitzvah of Burying the Dead” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As previously noted, this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, contains more mitzvot than any other parasha in the…

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Vayishlach 5777-2016

“Esau and Jacob Embrace and Kiss: Sincere or Insincere?” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, Jacob and Esau are reunited after twenty years…

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Shelach 5778-2018

“Moses Called Hoshea the Son of Nun, ‘Joshua’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach-Lecha, the tragic story of the scouts is recounted. The scouts’…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5780-2020

"Who is Truly Religious?” (Updated and revised from Parashiot Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim,…

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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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Back to School

With Labor Day behind us, most of the country’s children now return to school. Some jurisdictions begin the school year in August to avoid having classes during the heat of June. Of…

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The Jews of Charles Dickens

As has been frequently reported, anti-Semitism is on the rise. Beyond strengthening our own Jewish identities, what can we do? There are often simple, non-threatening actions that can…

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Eikev 5767-2007

"Swearing in G-d's name" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald It's rather fascinating to see how one single, seemingly simple verse can be interpreted so differently by our commentators. In…

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Mishpatim 5767-2007

"The Hebrew Maidservant is Alive and Well" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, Parashat Misphatim (literally, "laws"), G-d sets much of the structure of Jewish civil…

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Shoftim 5765-2005

"The Extent of Rabbinic Authority" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, 41 new Torah laws--14 positive and 27 negative mitzvot--are introduced.…

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Kee Teitzei 5760-2000

"Polygamy, Illegitimacy and Punishing the Innocent" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Kee Teizei, is the parasha that contains more mitzvot than any other parasha…

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Va’etchanan 5760-2000

"The Torah's Radical Approach to Parenting" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Wednesday evening (August 9) and Thursday (August 10), we will observe Tisha B'Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av,…

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Eikev 5764-2004

"Battling the Contemporary Abominations" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Eikev, Moses once again encourages the people of Israel to put their faith in G-d.…

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Vayigash 5762-2001

"The Virtues of Assimilation" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, the dramatic story of Joseph and his brothers comes to a rousing conclusion.…

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Mikeitz 5765-2004

"Pharaoh's Dream: Learning Through the Nuances" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, we are presented with a unique opportunity to see the…

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Vayikra 5760 – 2000

"Thanking G-d for the Good" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Vayikra, we read about the sacrificial rite. Toward the middle of the parasha, the Torah, in…

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Va’eira 5763-2002

"The Exodus--A 'Primitive' Story with Revolutionary Implications" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Jewish history is often perceived, with great justification I might add, as one unending…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5769-2009

"Blood–the Essence of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Tzav, the Torah declares rather definitively, (Leviticus 7:26), "V'chol dahm lo toch'loo b'chol mohsh'voh'taychem,"…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5761-2001

"Jews Sanctify Time, Not Space" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week, we read the double portions, Vayakel-Pekudei, and with these two portions we complete the Book of Shemot,…

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Bereshith 5772-2011

“The Fall of Man” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Starting with this week’s parasha, parashat Bereshith, synagogues around the globe begin the annual cycle of reading the Torah, the Five…

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Kee Teitzei 5774-2014

“Restoring Lost Possessions--Revisited” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 74 commandments (47 negative and 27 positive) that are found in parashat Kee Teitzei is the mitzvah of…

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Vayikra 5775-2015

“The Primacy of Independent Thinking” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra, contains many laws and directives regarding the various sacrifices and ritual…

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Shelach 5775-2015

“The Sin of the Spies--Revisited” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, we read of the sin of the scouts whom Moses sent out, at G-d’s behest, to scout…

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Chayei Sarah 5776-2015

"The Legacy of Ishmael" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, opens with the death and burial of the matriarch, Sarah, at age 127, and closes with the…

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Matot-Masei 5776-2016

“Rosh Chodesh Av – Remembering the Passing of a Beloved Leader" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Masei, the second of this week’s combined parashiot Matot-Masei, features a lengthy…

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Mishpatim 5777-2017

“Majority Rule " This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, is one of the most content-rich parashiot in the entire Torah. Mishpatim, which literally means “laws” or “rules,” serves as the…

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Emor 5777-2017

“Communicating a Vital Message Clearly” by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Emor, contains 63 mitzvot-- 39 negative and 24 positive. Parashat Emor ranks second, after…

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