It’s About the Relationship

Marriage, in the construct of Jewish law, is a practical agreement by which, at its most basic, a woman is guaranteed support and protection and a man has the prospect of progeny to carry…

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Vayeira 5777-2016

“There is But No Fear of G-d in this Place” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, Abraham relives the trauma of his wife’s abduction in Egypt when he…

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Vayeishev 5777-2016

“The Voice Within Us” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the attempted seduction of Joseph by Potiphar’s wife. Scripture, in Genesis…

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Biblical Euphemisms

The Torah is not prudish. Nevertheless, the biblical stories in which sexual relations play a central role (e.g., Lot and his daughters - Genesis 19:30-38, Joseph and Potiphar’s wife -…

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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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Vayeishev 5763-2002

"Judah Emerges as the Leader of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, Vayeishev, presents the opening chapter of one of the great human sagas--the story of Joseph and…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5770-2010

"Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, parashat Pekudei, we read that after many days, weeks and months of…

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Emor 5772-2012

"Lessons from a Priest’s Wanton Daughter" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Emor, highlights the special status of the Kohanim, the priests, in the community of…

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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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Chayei Sarah 5774-2013

"Yitzchak Establishes a Home with His New Wife" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we read of the death of the matriarch Sarah at age 127. Rashi…

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Bereshith 5776-2015

“Seth--Adam and Eve’s Little-Known Son” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bereshith, murder is introduced to the world, and the first instance of fratricide is…

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Vayakhel 5779-2019

"Jewish Women and Jewish Destiny" (Revised and updated from Vayakhel 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The vast majority of this week’s parasha, parashat Vayakhel, deals with…

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Pinchas 5779-2019

“The Daughters of Zelophehad: Legitimate Feminist Claims” (Revised and updated from Pinchas 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we…

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Shoftim 5779-2019

“War, the Jewish Community and Jewish Family Life” (Revised and updated from Shoftim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we learn, in great…

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Mikeitz 5780-2019

“Who is Osenath the wife of Joseph?” (Updated and revised from Mikeitz 5760-1999)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph interprets Pharaoh's…

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Lech Lecha 5762-2001

"Understanding Ishmael" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, we encounter the birth of Abrams's oldest son, Ishmael. The bible, in Genesis 15, tells…

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Chayei Sarah 5768-2007

"O Captain, My Captain" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although the name of this week's parasha is Chayei Sarah, literally, "the life of Sarah," the parasha does not really concern itself…

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Chayei Sarah 5781-2020

“The Personality of Isaac: The Passive Patriarch” (updated and revised from Chayei Sarah 5761–2000) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn…

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The Many Wives of Esau

Have you ever wondered who Esau married? In fact, Esau’s marital history is explicitly detailed in Genesis: “And when Esau was forty years old, he took as his wife wife Judith (also…

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Shoftim 5760-2000

"War, the Jewish Community and Jewish Family Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, we learn in great detail about the extensive preparations…

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Chayei Sara 5761-2000

"The Personality of Isaac: the Passive Patriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn of the death of Abraham's wife, Sarah, our…

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Mikeitz 5760-1999

"Who is Osenath the wife of Joseph?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dream and is elevated to be mishne la'melech,…

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Pinchas 5760-2000

"The Daughters Of Tzelafchad: Legitimate Feminist Claims" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn of the precedent-shattering request of the…

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Lech Lecha 5775-2014

“Lot Grows Increasingly Estranged from his Uncle Abram” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, Abram (he has not yet been renamed Abraham) concludes the…

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To Love, Honor and Cherish…

It would seem to make common sense that honoring one’s spouse is an essential part of any marriage relationship, and yet, the sages go out of their way to remind husbands of the…

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A Biblical Story Familiar To Our Time

There are some Jewish commentators who state that the entire history of the world can be found in the Book of Genesis if one just knows where to look. The narratives of Genesis do indeed…

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Chayei Sara 5764-2003

"Who Was the Matriarch Sarah?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, the matriarch Sarah, Abraham's wife, passes away. The authors of the Midrash,…

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Toledot 5770-2009

"The Jew Under the Microscope" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, the Torah tells us that, once again, there was a famine in the land of Canaan, aside…

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Vayeishev 5770-2009

"Joseph in Prison: The Commentators Fill in the Details" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald It's hard to believe that the story of Joseph and his brethren could become any more exciting. It…

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Bereshith 5763-2002

"Being Moral in an Increasingly Immoral Environment" Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Bershith, is one of the richest of all the narrative portions of the Torah. One…

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