The Purim Story in Under 300 Words

At the end of a 180-day feast, the King of Persia-Medea, Achashverosh, banished (some say executed) his wife, Vashti, for refusing to appear at his banquet. He then staged an elaborate…

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The Purim Story in Under 300 Words

At the end of a 180-day feast, the Persian-Medean King Achashverosh executed his wife, Vashti, for refusing to appear at his banquet. Achashverosh staged an elaborate beauty contest to…

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Connecting the Words

In honor of “Dictionary Day,” Jewish Treats looks at a renowned Jewish dictionary that has served scholars and students since the turn of the 20th century.  A Dictionary of Targumim,…

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Connecting the Words

In honor of “Dictionary Day,” Jewish Treats looks at a renowned Jewish dictionary that has served scholars and students since the turn of the 20th century. A Dictionary of Targumim,…

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Devarim 5776-2016

“Moses the Stammerer, Becomes a World-Class Orator" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With parashat Devarim, we begin to read the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final book of the Torah.…

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Matot-Masei 5772-2012

“Words that Hurt, Words that Heal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Matot, the first of this week’s two parashiot, we are immediately confronted with the exceptional power of…

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Vayechi 5776-2015

“Jacob Maintains a Bitter Grudge Against Simeon and Levi” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, Jacob blesses his twelve sons prior to his death. Even…

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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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Va’eira 5774-2013

“Moses, the Reluctant Prophet” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Tradition maintains that the 53 Hebrew prophets and prophetesses were generally a reluctant group of Divine servants, who were…

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Va’etchanan 5773-2013

"Behold the Beauty of the Land" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, opens with Moses recalling his heartfelt plea to the Al-mighty, and its rejection,…

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Va’etchanan 5771-2011

"The Ten Commandments: The Differences" By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, Moses revisits the scriptural verses known as the "Decalogue" or the Ten…

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Matot-Masei 5777-2017

“Vows and Oaths” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashiot Matot and Masei are the last two parashiot of the book of Bamidbar--Numbers. The focus of these two final parashiot shifts from…

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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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B’shalach 5763-2003

"Bringing G-d Home" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat B'shalach, contains many historic and dramatic moments. The narrative describes the departure of the…

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Matot 5768-2008

"Striving for Refined Speech" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Matot, we learn of the laws that govern vows and oaths, known in Hebrew as nedarim and…

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Vayechi 5772-2012

"The Scepter Shall Not Depart from Judah" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, Jacob calls his sons together in order to bless them before he dies. Not…

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The Root of the Meaning

"Our sacred literature does not use obscure language, but describes most things in words clearly indicating their meaning. Therefore it is necessary at all times to delve into the literal…

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Haazinu 5765-2004

"Judging Others Favorably and its Impact on Our Own Judgment" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming Shabbat is known in the Jewish calendar as Shabbat Shuva--the Sabbath of Return. It…

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Behar 5779-2019

“Wronging One Another, the Torah’s Unique Viewpoint” (Revised and updated from Behar 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Behar, we twice…

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Matot-Masei 5779-2019

“Jeremiah’s Prophecy: An Ancient Message for Contemporary Times” (Revised and updated from Matot-Masei 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This Shabbat, when parashiot Matot…

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Yiddishisms

On November 18, 2013, NASA launched an atmospheric probe to Mars, which initiated the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission. Its mission was to gather data to determine why…

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Kee Tavo 5761-2001

"There are Stones with Human Hearts" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, Moshe transmits to the Jewish people some of the particular laws and…

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Tazria 5763-2003

"Tzaraat--The Spiritual Dermatological Disease" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Tazria, as well as parashat Metzorah that follows, are among the most…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5761-2001

"Setting A New Standard of Ethics" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This coming week, we once again read two parashiot, Behar and Bechukotai. In parashat Behar, Leviticus 25, verse 14, we find…

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The Foundation Commandment

“I am the Lord your God.” These are the opening words of the first of the Ten Commandments. While these words do seem strange as a “commandment,” they are, in fact, the foundation of all…

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Behar 5760-2000

"Wronging One Another: The Torah's Unique Viewpoint" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Behar, we twice encounter the mitzvah of o'na'ah – the prohibition…

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Bereshith 5773-2012

“What is Heaven?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening parasha of the book of Genesis, parashat Bereshith, contains the dramatic biblical account of the physical creation of the…

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Balak 5773-2013

"Balaam’s Second Vision: Lo, a People that Rises Like a Lion" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Balak, we read of Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, and…

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Re’eh 5774-2014

“Giving Charity Kindly and Generously” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we find particular emphasis on performing acts of kindness, generosity and…

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