Bamidbar 5771-2011

“Good Neighbors and Bad Neighbors” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bamidbar, we learn of the configuration of the camps of Israel that surrounded the…

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Vayeishev 5774-2013

"Reuben is Credited with Saving Joseph’s Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Joseph is dispatched by Jacob on a fateful mission to check on the well-being of his brothers who had gone to…

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Vayigash 5774-2013

“The Dreams and the Divine Covenant” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. After twenty-two years of separation,…

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Vayigash 5779-2018

“The Innocent Victim” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayigash, the Torah describes the dramatic moment when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Prior to…

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The Charleston Synagogue(s)

Charleston, South Carolina is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States. The 1669 charter for the Carolina Colony explicitly included liberty of conscious for…

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Today I am a Man, Sort Of

In today’s day and age, it is difficult to fathom how the rabbis could deem a twelve or thirteen year old child even remotely mature enough to be considered an adult. In truth, however,…

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A Symbolic Synagogue

It is a surprisingly ironic fact that a synagogue whose name means “ruin” has, for many decades, been a symbol of hope. The Hurva Synagogue of Jerusalem, which was once known for its lone…

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A Midsummer Night’s Shabbat

“Making early Shabbat,” means beginning Shabbat well before sunset. This is an especially important accommodation for residents of cities where the summer sun may not set until 9 or 10 at…

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The Tribe of Gad

As the ancestors of the tribes of Israel, the lives and personalities of each of the twelve sons of Jacob significantly impact on the history and behavior of the tribe members who…

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A Midsummer Night’s Shabbat

“Making early Shabbat,” means beginning Shabbat well before sunset. This is an especially important accommodation for residents of cities where the summer sun may not set until 9 or 10 at…

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The Babylonian Talmud Completed

Around 200 C.E., Rabbi Judah Ha’Nasi (Judah the Prince) completed his great work of Jewish law, the Mishnah. Although Jewish tradition, for close to 1,500 years, forbade the writing of…

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The Name Jerusalem

Initially, King David ruled from Hebron, but Hebron was not the ideal location for the seat of government. Not only was Hebron in the southern-most part of the Israelite kingdom, but it…

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Today I Am A Man, Sort Of

In today’s day and age, it is difficult to fathom how the rabbis could deem a twelve or thirteen year old child even remotely mature enough to be considered an adult. In truth, however,…

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The Babylonian Talmud Completed

Around the year 200 C.E., Rabbi Judah Ha’Nasi (Judah the Prince) completed editing his great work of Jewish law, the Mishnah. Although Jewish tradition, for close to 1,500 years, forbade…

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The Name Jerusalem

Initially, King David ruled from Hebron, but Hebron was not the ideal location for the seat of government. Not only was Hebron in the southernmost part of the Israelite kingdom, but it…

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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 5772-2011

"Joseph Takes His Brother Simeon Hostage" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, is an emotional roller coaster, stocked with abundant moments of triumph…

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Tazria 5774-2014

“The Jewish Attitude Toward Healing and Medicine” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tazria, opens with the laws concerning purification of a woman after…

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Shelach 5774-2014

“Do Not Follow After the Desires of Your Heart and Eyes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald While the major theme of parashat Shelach concerns the scouts who return from the Land of Israel with…

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Matot 5774-2014

“Hakarat HaTov: Expressing Appreciation” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Matot, we read of G-d’s command to Moses to avenge the Children of Israel against…

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Vayeishev 5775-2014

"Who Sold Joseph?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the sale of Joseph. The sale of Joseph plays a key role in Jewish history, drawing…

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Tetzaveh 5775-2015

“The High Priest Wears the Names of Israel on His Heart” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, contains a number of varied themes, including the oil of…

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Tzav 5775-2015

“When Performing a Mitzvah Comes at a Significant Personal Cost” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tzav, for the most part, continues the Torah’s review of the…

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Bo 5779-2019

"Nothing Stands in the Way of Teshuva!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As the parasha opens, G-d says to Moses, Exodus 10:1, בֹּא אֶל פַּרְעֹה:  כִּי אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת לִבּוֹ, וְאֶת…

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Mikeitz 5769-2008

"Measure for Measure" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In ancient civilizations, it was not uncommon for legal systems to practice what is known as Lex Talionis, an eye for an eye or measure for…

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Vayikra 5770-2010

"Do Leaders Corrupt, or are They Corrupted?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayikra, we learn of the varied sacrifices and offerings that were brought…

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Vayishlach 5781-2020

“The Proper and Improper use of Zealotry” (updated and revised from Vayishlach 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we encounter in…

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The Great Confrontation

Explore the profound insight underpinning the confrontation between Judah and his brother Joseph in Egypt leading up to the revelation of Joseph’s identity to Judah and his brothers.…

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Shelach 5781-2021

“What’s in a Name?” (updated and revised from Shelach 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s Torah portion, parashat Shelach, the Torah recounts the fateful saga of the…

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Bechukotai 5765-2005

"Achieving Peace and Security for the Jewish People" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Bechukotai, we encounter the first of the two tochachot--portions of…

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