These Lights We Kindle

While the mitzvah of lighting the menorah is an outward-focused mitzvah - the menorah is lit in a window or doorway - it is also an opportunity for personal reflection on the deeper…

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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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Devarim 5765-2005

"The Book of Deuteronomy–Mishneh Torah and the Purpose of Repetition" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Devarim, marks the commencement of the fifth book of the…

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Tzav 5763-2003

"What We Learn from the Jewish 'Caste System'" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's Torah portion, Parashat Tzav, continues the Torah's description of the sacrificial rite, and…

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Emor 5770-2010

"Striving For Perfection" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Much of parashat Emor speaks of holiness, faultlessness, striving for perfection and the proper observance of the holy days. In…

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Bamidbar 5770-2010

"The Meaning of the Wilderness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The fourth book of the Torah, Bamidbar, opens with the following words  (Numbers 1:1): "Vah'y'dah'bayr Hashem el Moshe…

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Balak 5761-2001

"Words of Eternal Truth from the Evil Prophet Bilaam" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Balak, we encounter Balak, the King of Moab, soliciting the…

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Kedoshim 5771-2011

“Judaism’s Radical Notion of Holiness” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the most profound statements in the Torah is found in the opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat…

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Holocaust Memorial Day

Yom HashoahHolocaust Memorial Day On the 27th of Nisan, Jews around the world will mark Yom Ha’shoah…

A Maccabee’s Who’s Who

Mattityahu (Mattathias): A High Priest descended from the Hasmonean line, Mattityahu lived in Modi’in with his five sons. Mattityahu started the rebellion against the Syrian-Greeks…

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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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Vayishlach 5774-2013

"The Death of Deborah, Rebecca’s Nurse" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, after the traumatic rape of Dina in Shechem and the revenge at the hands…

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Shoftim 5774-2014

“Justice--the Source of Security of the Land of Israel” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, calls upon the People of Israel to formally establish courts of…

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Bereshith 5777-2016

“The Decline and Fall of Humankind” by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Bereshith, we begin, once again, to read the first of the Five Books of Moses--the Book of…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of Nisan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha'shoah (Officially Yom Ha'zikaron La'shoah V'la'g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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The Sadducee King Yannai

Alexander Jannaeus (Yannai or Y’honatan in Hebrew) served as the second Hasmonean king of Judea from 103 BCE until his death in 76 BCE. The third son of John Hyrcanus, he succeeded his…

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An Egyptian Treasure Trove

The 12th of Kislev marks the 104th anniversary of the passing of Rabbi Solomon Schechter, who died on November 19, 1915 in New York City. Born in 1847 in Moldavia to a family of Chabad…

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The Afikomen

Those who have attended a Passover Seder know that one of the most beloved Seder traditions is the hiding* of the afikomen, a specially designated half-piece of matzah. But what exactly…

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“Kafkaesque”

Franz Kafka was born into a Jewish family on July 3, 1883 near the Old Town Square in Prague, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz was the eldest of six children (two tragically died in…

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Stories from Safed

The city of Safed in the northern Galilee is one of Israel’s most popular tourist destinations. One of its primary draws is its magnificent synagogues whose congregations date back to the…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of Nisan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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The Haftarah

Every week, on Shabbat, a portion of the Five Books of Moses is read in synagogue. This portion is known as the parasha. In addition to the parasha, a section from the…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of Nissan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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What A Player!

Today marks 171 years since the first official game of baseball was played on June 19, 1846. In honor of this anniversary, today’s Jewish Treat presents a brief biography of a unique…

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A Maccabee’s Who’s Who

Mattityahu (Mattathias): A High Priest descended from the Hasmonean line, Mattityahu lived in Modi’in with his five sons. Mattityahu started the rebellion against the Syrian-Greeks…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 28th* of Nisan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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Light One Candle

“Light one candle for the Maccabee children, with thanks that their light didn’t die...” Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary wrote these words in a song that cried out for the pain of…

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A New Martial Art

In his youth, Imri "Imi" Lichtenfeld (1910 - 1998) was a successful boxer, wrestler, gymnast and all-around athlete. He had inherited his physical prowess from his father, Samuel, a…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 27th of Nissan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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