Emor 5781-2021

"The Blasphemer - A Midrashic View" (Updated and revised from Emor 5764-2004) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week’s parasha, parashat Emor, is, for the most part, concerned…

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Korach 5781-2021

Korach 5781-2021 “The Origin of the ‘Big Lie’” (updated and revised from Korach 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s Torah portion, parashat Korach, we read of Korach…

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Re’eh 5766-2006

"Adding or Subtracting" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Re'eh is a rich and colorful parasha that contains 55 mitzvot, 17 positive and 38 negative. Among the most intriguing of the…

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Shoftim 5762-2002

"The Torah - the First Environmentalist Treatise" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's Torah portion, parashat Shoftim, we find many interesting and challenging ideas. It is…

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Noah 5760-1999

"Does the Torah ever distort the truth?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There is a fascinating and enlightening story brought down in Genesis 11, of this week's parasha, Noah. It is…

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Nitzavim 5765-2005

"The Hidden Things Belong to G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On the final day of his life, Moses gathers all the people of Israel, from the most exalted to the lowliest, old and young,…

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Haazinu 5763-2002

"On the Anniversary of September 11th" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming Shabbat, the Shabbat between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, is known as Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of…

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Mishpatim 5768-2008

"Showing Sensitivity to the Helpless and the Downtrodden" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 53 mitzvot that are found in parashat Mishpatim (23 positive and 30 negative) are a series…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5764-2004

"The Revolutionary Nature of Shemita and Yovel" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In the first of this week's double parashiot, parashat Behar, we encounter the remarkable laws of Shemita--the…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5767-2007

"Reward and Punishment" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we encounter the very challenging concept of Divine reward and…

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Korach 5762-2002

"The Origin of the Big Lie" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's Torah portion, parashat Korach, we read of Korach and his rebellion against G-d, Moses and Aaron. Although…

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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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Pinchas 5761-2001

"The Pain of Giving Reproof" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald On Sunday, July 8th, Jews the world over observed the fast of Shivah Asar B'Tamuz, the Seventeenth day of Tamuz. The fast marks…

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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…

Ice Cream Soda Day

With the summer solstice arriving at midnight tonight, let us contemplate one of summertime’s favorite heat-quenching beverages. June 20th is Ice Cream Soda Day. The ice cream soda,…

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Bo 5772-2012

"The Plague of Darkness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we learn of the eighth, ninth and tenth of the ten plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of…

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Yitro 5772-2012

"Who is the Real Jethro?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Jethro, a man of great stature and distinction, is first encountered in the Bible in Exodus 2:16. The Torah describes Jethro as…

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Terumah 5773-2013

"Form Over Content, or Content Over Form?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, is the first in a series of five parashiot that deal with the design,…

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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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Lech Lecha 5774-2013

"Setting the Stage for the Jewish Future" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, the Torah tells of the exploits of Abraham and Sarah. The remarkable…

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Mishpatim 5774-2014

“Oh’na’ah–Taking Unfair Advantage of the Weak” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, contains 53 of the 613 commandments, 30 negative commandments and 23…

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Emor 5774-2014

“The Sadducees and the Counting of the Omer” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the 63 mitzvot (24 positive and 39 negative) found in this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, is the mitzvah of…

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Bo 5775-2015

“The Intuitive Jew” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, the eighth and ninth plagues--locusts and darkness, are visited upon the Egyptians. At long last,…

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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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B’shalach 5778-2018

“The Exalted Spirituality of Miriam the Prophetess” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach, the long-awaited redemption of the Jewish people from…

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Mishpatim 5778-2018

“Heaven Made Me Do It!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, serves as the basis of the Hebrew system of jurisprudence. It is the fourth most numerous…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5767-2007

"Beards and Payos" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the second of this week's double parashiot, Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, instructions are given regarding "kosher barbering etiquette": the…

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Naso 5772-2012

"The Most Famous of All Nazarites--Samson" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald According to the Sefer Ha’Chinuch (the classic work on the 613 commandments, their rationale and their regulations,…

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Shoftim 5772-2012

"The Haughty Heart" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Among the many topics discussed in this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, are the rules and regulations that apply to a king of Israel.…

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Fleeing in the New World

The history of the conversos, those Spanish and Portuguese Jews who hid their identities by publicly behaving as observant Catholics, is tragic not only for the horrible auto-de-fes (mass…

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