Devarim 5773-2013

"The Price of Disunity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, the fifth book of the Bible, Deuteronomy, begins. Parashat Devarim is always read on…

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Korach 5777-2017

“Mrs. Ohn: The Unsung Hero” The Torah, in Numbers 16:1, records the initial steps of the rebellion: וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי, וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם בְּנֵי אֱלִיאָב,…

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Shoftim 5778-2018

"Identifying the True Prophet" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we, once again, encounter the difficult challenge of identifying the true prophet who…

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Emor 5768-2008

"Creed or Deed" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The two opening chapters of parashat Emor, Leviticus 21 and 22, deal with laws that pertain to the Kohanim (priests) and to safeguarding the…

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Chayei Sarah 5769-2008

"Mourning and Eulogizing" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although this week's Torah portion is entitled Chayei Sarah, which literally means "the life of Sarah," the opening part of the…

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Perception of the Eye

Within Jewish law there is a concept known as maarit ayin, which translates to “perception of the eye.” It is a shorthand term for the rabbinic prohibition of doing a permitted act that…

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What Goes Around Comes Around

Is there any truth to the popular statement, “What goes around, comes around”? It is a pithy phrase that is all too often suggested (somewhat viciously) after a person falls on hard…

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Presuming Innocence

"Innocent until proven guilty" is one of the great American judicial principles. That important concept, however, could very well have been composed by someone who had studied a bit of…

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Re’eh 5762-2002

"Changing and Updating Jewish Law" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, we encounter a fascinating law known in rabbinic literature as Shmitat…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5772-2012

“The Essential Ingredient for Repentance and Prayer--Humility” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Metzorah, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Tazria-Metzorah, we read of…

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Bo 5773-2013

"Interfacing with the Non-Jewish World" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we read of the last three plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of the…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5773-2013

"They’re Not Laughing At Me Anymore!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, Moses gathers all the People of Israel together, re-enters them…

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Naso 5774-2014

“The Gift that Keeps on Giving” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Naso is hardly a simple parasha. It contains many themes, of both major and of seemingly lesser significance.…

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Vayeishev 5779-2018

“The Mystical Aspects of the Sale of Joseph” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the sale of Joseph by his brothers, which resulted…

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Mishpatim 5779-2019

“From Seemingly Obscure Laws, the Torah Teaches the Ultimate Value of the Sanctity of Human Life”(Revised and updated from Mishpatim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming…

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Kinnot

KinnotMany devastating events took place on the 9th of Av. This is why the Jewish people consider it the saddest day on the…

Never Too Late To Educate

It is a well-known fact that Judaism places tremendous emphasis on education. Thousands of years ago Rabbi Simon ben Shetach (75 B.C.E.) instituted compulsory school attendance. The…

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Eikev 5765-2005

"Understanding Birkat Hamazon, the Grace After Meals" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Eikev, we are told of the mitzvah of reciting Birkat…

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Mishpatim 5760-2000

"From Seemingly Obscure Laws, the Torah Teaches the Ultimate Value of the Sanctity of Human Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat Mishpatim, which…

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Re’eh 5770-2010

"The Blessing and the Curse" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Re'eh, Moses appeals to the Jewish people to faithfully abide by G-d's commandments, adjuring…

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Intentions Matter

Halacha (Jewish Law) can be defined, literally, as “the way of walking” or “the path.” This single word defines Judaism’s unique legal system. Some paths are straight, others bend. So…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5769-2009

"Would a Human Author Have Written this?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Beha'alotecha, contains a host of diverse themes. Topics include: the Menorah,…

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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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Chukat 5772-2012

"It is a Decree Before Me–-You Have No Right to Question It!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chukat, we encounter one of the most enigmatic laws of the…

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Vayeishev 5773-2012

“Heaven-Sent Spices” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we read of the sale of Joseph by his brothers, to merchants who eventually bring Joseph to…

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Naso 5773-2013

"Playing the Subordinate Role: A Lesson from the Levites" by Rabbi Ephaim Z. Buchwald This week’s Torah portion, parashat Naso, continues the description of the role of the Levites, whose…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5762-2002

"The Extraordinary Mitzvah of Tzedaka, Charity" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald Once again, this week, we read two combined parashiot Behar-Bechukotai. In the first of this coming week's…

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Pinchas 5779-2019

“The Daughters of Zelophehad: Legitimate Feminist Claims” (Revised and updated from Pinchas 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we…

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Chayei Sara 5763-2002

"The Torah's Recipe for Finding a Proper Mate" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the growing issues confronting contemporary American and world Jewry is the challenge of finding proper…

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Terumah 5765-2005

"Identifying the Essentials of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Terumah, is the first of four parashiot: Terumah, Tetzaveh, Vayakhel, Pekudei, and…

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