Bo 5762-2002

"Rituals Work, Rituals Work" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Bo, describes the final three plagues: locusts, darkness and the death of the first born,…

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Behar 5776-2016

“Bernie Sanders Meets Parashat Behar" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Behar, introduces many of the Torah’s revolutionary economic ideas (see Behar 5765-2005).…

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Kee Teitzei 5771-2011

"Sending the Mother Bird Away" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, we learn of the fascinating mitzvah of "Sheeluach Ha’Kayn," sending the mother…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5777-2017

“Inspiring the Next Generation” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Vayeilech, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, we read, what is to my mind, one of the…

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Devarim 5763-2003

"The Gentle Reproof" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week, we begin reading the fifth book of the Torah, known as Deuteronomy, or Devarim in Hebrew. The book of Devarim is also called…

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Chukat 5774-2014

“The Inscrutable Statutes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Chukat opens with the well-known and deeply inscrutable law of the Red Heifer (cow). In Numbers 19:2,…

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Va’etchanan 5774-2014

“The Prediction of Return” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, is always read after the Fast of the 9th of Av and after the conclusion of the period…

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The Morning Blessings: Blessing #5: For Men

Every morning, a set of 15 blessings are recited to express our thanks to God for all the things that we, as healthy human beings, are capable of doing. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai…

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Re’eh 5766-2006

"Adding or Subtracting" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Re'eh is a rich and colorful parasha that contains 55 mitzvot, 17 positive and 38 negative. Among the most intriguing of the…

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Shelach 5773-2013

"Tzitzit: The Unpretentious Mitzvah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald At the conclusion of this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, we learn of the mitzvah of Tzitzit, the fringes that are…

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Chukat 5772-2012

"It is a Decree Before Me–-You Have No Right to Question It!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chukat, we encounter one of the most enigmatic laws of the…

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Eikev 5776-2016

“Caring for the Weak and the Vulnerable" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the important mitzvot found in this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, the Torah bids the Jew to be G-dlike by…

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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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Shabbat, The Heart of Unity

Shabbat is one of the Ten Commandments, and is one of the most frequently referred-to mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah. Shabbat is regarded as the “heart” of Jewish life. It sets a…

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Shelach 5779-2019

"Finding Meaning in the Rituals" (Revised and updated from Shelach 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, concludes with the well-known…

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Shelach 5760-2000

"Finding Meaning in the Rituals" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, Parashat Sh'lach, concludes with the well-known third paragraph of the Shema prayer concerning…

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Noah 5766-2005

"The Seven Commandments Given to the Descendants of Noah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Noah, G-d blesses Noah and his children after the Flood, and graces…

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World Food Day

It is a fundamental Jewish belief that in the era of the Messiah, the world will be transformed into a state of perfection. As stated by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Rambam, Maimonides - 12th…

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Purim

Purim A holiday of fun and festivities, like all Jewish holidays, Purim also provides an opportunity to…

Kee Teitzei 5766-2006

"The Mitzvah of Marriage, Kiddushin and Ketuvah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Teitzei is a fascinating parasha, containing the largest number of mitzvot of any parasha in the…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5766-2006

"Standing Idly By" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald An extraordinary number of mitzvot are found in the double parashiot that are read this week. Together, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim contain…

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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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Behar-Bechukotai, Yom Yerushalayim 5772-2012

"Living Outside the Land of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Behar, the first of this week’s double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we learn of the special relationship that…

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Kee Teitzei 5772-2012

"The Sanctity of the Camp of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei, contains 74 mitzvot-- more mitzvot than any other portion of the Torah. 27 are…

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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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Kee Teitzei 5764-2004

"The Torah's 'Secret' for Longevity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As we have noted in our previous studies of parashat Kee Teitzei, this coming week's parasha contains more mitzvot that…

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Kee Tisah 5772-2012

"The Preeminence of Shabbat" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we learn, among other things, of the preeminence of Shabbat, the Sabbath Day.…

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Chayei Sarah 5773-2012

"Beware Not to Return My Son There!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn that Abraham, who is well-on in years, is deeply concerned about…

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Bo 5766-2006

"Transformations" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Bo, we are informed that after the plagues of locusts and darkness strike the Egyptians, the first…

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The Power of Shabbat

Jewish life ebbs and flows around the celebration of Shabbat. The days of the week are labelled by a count toward Shabbat (Sunday is Yom Rishon, the first day; Monday is Yom Shaynee, the…

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