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 isYom Rishon, the first day; Monday is Yom Shaynee,…

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Devarim 5780-2020

“Eichah, The Annual Search for Meaning and Introspection” (updated and revised from Parashat Devarim 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, is…

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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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Yitro 5762-2002

"Structural Secrets of the Decalogue" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we encounter the Aseret Ha'dibrot, the Ten Commandments.…

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Tetzaveh 5765-2005

"A Flame in Every Jewish Heart" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, focuses primarily on the design and manufacture of the priestly vestments. The…

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Yitro 5781-2021

“Structural Secrets of the Decalogue” (updated and revised from Yitro 5762-2002) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald     In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we…

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Va’etchanan 5775-2015

“Do Not Add...and Do Not Detract” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’etchanan, we learn of the fascinating and complex mitzvah of not adding or detracting…

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“Shabbos Goy”

While there are some mitzvot that are obligatory on all people (e.g. the seven laws of Noach), the observance of Shabbat is not one of them. It therefore seems entirely natural that if…

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Kee Teitzei 5760-2000

"Polygamy, Illegitimacy and Punishing the Innocent" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Kee Teizei, is the parasha that contains more mitzvot than any other parasha…

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Hebrew Reading Crash Course Bonus Class

Hebrew Reading Crash CourseBonus ClassWelcome to NJOP’s Bonus Class for Read Hebrew America’s Hebrew Reading Crash…

Kee Tavo 5772-2012

“Persecution’s ‘Silver Lining’” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, is one of two weekly Torah portions that contain the verses known as the “Tochacha ,”…

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Yitro 5773-2013

"The Third Commandment: Against Perjury and Profane Swearing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, we encounter the first of the two references to the Ten…

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Emor 5777-2017

“Communicating a Vital Message Clearly” by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Emor, contains 63 mitzvot-- 39 negative and 24 positive. Parashat Emor ranks second, after…

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Kee Teitzei 5779-2019

“Polygamy, Illegitimacy and Punishing the Innocent” (Revised and updated from Kee Teitzei 5760-2000)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Kee Teitzei,…

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Vayechi 5762-2001

"The Debate: Burial In The Land of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, concludes the book of Bereshit, Genesis. Parashat Vayechi includes…

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Shelach 5765-2005

"Bread Alone" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As the name of the parasha, "Shelach lecha"--send for yourself, indicates, this week's parasha focuses on the 12 scouts that were sent by the…

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Kee Teitzei 5765-2005

"The Revolution that Started with a Fence" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The extraordinary number of themes that are found in parashat Kee Teizei make it seem as if the Torah, with only…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001

"Who is Truly Religious?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim, are once again double parashiot. Both of these parashiot are chock full of novel…

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Chukat-Balak 5766-2006

"The Sanctity of Human Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the first of this week's two parashiot, Chukat-Balak, we learn of the law of the Parah Adumah, the Red Heifer. In Numbers…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5772-2012

"Respect for Elders" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The double portions of Acharei-Mot and Kedoshim together contain a total of 79 mitzvot, more than one seventh of all the mitzvot in the…

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Re’eh 5775-2015

“The Prohibition of Eating the Limb of a Live Animal” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, contains 55 mitzvot--17 positive and 38 negative commandments. It…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5778-2018

“Torah From Sinai” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of parashat Behar, the first of this week’s combined parashiyot, Behar and Bechukotai, speak of the laws of Shemitah,…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5780-2020

"Who is Truly Religious?” (Updated and revised from Parashiot Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5761-2001)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parashiot, Acharei Mot and Kedoshim,…

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Hail the Holy Pomegranate

The Pomegranate is a funny sort of fruit. Rather than eating the flesh and throwing away the seed, as one does when eating an apple or orange, pomegranate seeds are eaten and the flesh…

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The Mother Bird

There are many mitzvot in the Torah for which there are no given explanations. These mitzvot are known as chukim. For instance, there is a prohibition against wearing wool and linen…

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The World To Come

This world is like the eve of Shabbat, and Olam Habah (the World to Come) is like Shabbat. He who prepares on the eve of Shabbat will have food to eat on Shabbat (Avodah Zara 3a) Olam…

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Hail The Holy Pomegranate

The Pomegranate is a funny sort of fruit. Rather than eating the flesh and throwing away the seed, as one does when eating an apple or orange, pomegranate seeds are eaten and the flesh…

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To Our Readers (Six Years!)

There are numerous mitzvot for which, according to the Talmud, a person is rewarded in both this world and the world to come. These mitzvot include honoring one’s parents, hospitality,…

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The World To Come

“This world is like the eve of Shabbat, and Olam Habah (the World to Come) is like Shabbat. He who prepares on the eve of Shabbat will have food to eat on Shabbat.” (Avodah Zara 3a). Olam…

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Judaism

Judaism To enhance the understanding and appreciation of the depth and breadth of Judaism. Essential Judaism Embrace Judaism…