Balak 5764-2004

"How Goodly Are Your Tents O' Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Balak, we read once again of the non-Jewish prophet, Bilaam, who attempts to curse the…

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Toledot 5772-2011

“Isaac Blesses His Sons” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn how Isaac’s intentions to bless Esau are thwarted by the deceptive actions of…

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B’shalach 5772-2012

"Pharaoh's Ultimate Fate" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Beshalach, we read of the splitting of the Red Sea and the miraculous salvation of the Israelites…

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Tzav 5776-2016

“Dressing Properly for Special Occasions” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Tzav, opens with detailed instructions to the Kohanim, the priests, regarding taking…

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Kee Tisah 5779-2019

“The ‘Vengeful’ G-d” (Revised and updated from Kee Tisah 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read of the infamous episode of the Golden…

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Re’eh 5779-2019

“Charity! The Investment That Keeps Giving” (Revised and updated from Re’eh 5760-2001) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, is a truly edifying Torah portion,…

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Fun and Food

If you have a picnic or barbeque, make certain to bring water with which to wash your hands before eating bread.

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Kee Tisah 5769-2009

"An Opportunity for Those Who Seek to Repent" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we learn of the grave sin committed by the People of Israel who…

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Kee Tisah 5760-2000

"The 'Vengeful' G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In the parasha, Parashat Kee Tisah, we read of the infamous episode of the Golden Calf. In preparation for the Revelation, Moses had gone…

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Shemot 5776-2016

"By What Right Does Moses Kill The Egyptian?” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we learn that Moses, who was raised in the royal house of Pharaoh,…

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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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Metzorah 5779-2019

“The Ultimate Value and Sanctity of Human Life in Judaism” (Revised and updated from Metzorah 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Metzorah, continues the…

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Hey Levi

Levi, the third son of Jacob, was a passionate man, whose zeal, when transmitted to his descendants, was focused toward God. According to the Midrash, unlike the other Israelites, the…

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Tzav 5764-2004

"Making the Menial Hallowed and Mundane Holy" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Tzav, continues parashat Vayikra's theme of sacrifices. The laws of the…

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Bo 5765-2005

"Opening Their Hearts so They Can Hear" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Bo, the ten plagues come to a dramatic conclusion with the Death of all…

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Terumah 5774-2014

“The Shulchan--Much More Than Just a Table” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Terumah, the Children of Israel are asked to donate the necessary materials to be…

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Metzorah 5774-2014

“The Peddler and Evil Speech” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Metzorah, again addresses the Biblical affliction Tzara’at, צָּרַעַת. Parashat Metzorah teaches…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5775-2015

“Bringing Heaven Down To Earth” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Pekudei, the second of this week’s double parshiot, Vayakhel-Pekudei, the Mishkan, the portable Tabernacle, is…

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Grace Before Meals

One of the seven mitzvot enacted by the rabbis is reciting blessings prior to eating food. The other six rabbinic innovations are: the holiday of Purim, the holiday of Chanukah, lighting…

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Lech Lecha 5769-2008

"A Blessing on Your Head" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Blessings play a key role in Judaism. Not surprisingly, there are a vast number of them in Jewish life. There are blessings for…

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Vayeishev 5770-2009

"Joseph in Prison: The Commentators Fill in the Details" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald It's hard to believe that the story of Joseph and his brethren could become any more exciting. It…

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B’shalach 5769-2009

"Pharaoh Sends the People of Israel out of Egypt" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat B'shalach opens with a well-known verse describing Israel's dramatic exodus from Egypt. The Bible,…

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Vayeishev 5771-2010

"Tamar: The Paradigm of an Heroic Woman” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeishev, we learn of Judah’s estrangement from his family after the sale of Joseph…

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Emor 5771-2011

"Sanctifying and Defiling G-d’s Name" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, we encounter two prominent pronouncements that serve as foremost guideposts for…

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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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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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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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B’shalach 5774-2014

“Analysis of the ‘Shira,’ the Song of Moses Crossing the Sea” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach, as they cross to freedom through the parted waters…

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Acharei Mot 5774-2014

“Prelude to Holiness” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The name of this week’s Torah portion, Acharei Mot, literally means “in the aftermath of the deaths of Aaron’s sons, Nadav and Abihu.”…

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Chukat 5774-2014

“The Inscrutable Statutes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Chukat opens with the well-known and deeply inscrutable law of the Red Heifer (cow). In Numbers 19:2,…

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