Ordaining with Both Hands

Semicha, which connotes rabbinic ordination, as understood today, consists of passing proficiency exams and receiving permission from one’s teachers to rule on questions of Jewish law.…

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Vayechi 5763-2002

"How Important is Timing?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, contains the exalted poetic verses known as "Birkot Yaakov," Jacob's blessings of his…

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Vayechi 5760-1999

"How Important is Timing?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Vayechi, is an exalted collection of poetry. In this parasha, Jacob blesses his children, but it is…

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Vayigash 5764-2003

"The Secret of Jewish Survival in Exile?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In parashat Vayigash, the exciting story of Joseph and his brothers draws to a conclusion. Joseph instructs his…

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Vayechi 5783-2022

“How Important is Timing?” (updated and revised from Vayechi 5763-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, contains a series of exalted poetic verses…

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Shelach 5766-2006

"Who was Caleb?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Shelach is probably the saddest parasha in the Torah. It is in this weekly portion that the Israelite men of the Exodus generation…

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Shoftim 5770-2010

"Enmity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, we once again encounter the concept of the City of Refuge. It is to the City of Refuge that an…

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The Vanishing Conquerors

Politics do not change much from millennium to millennium. There have always been superpowers, great and powerful nations, vying for control of the world. In the seventh century B.C.E.,…

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Tetzaveh 5769-2009

"The Urim and Tumim--The Mysterious Priestly Accessory" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week's parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, is concerned primarily with the vestments of the priests.…

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Va’etchanan-Tisha B’Av 5769-2009

"Tisha b'Av: Never Beyond Redemption" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Va'etchanan, we read the portion from Deuteronomy 4:25, which is read on Tisha b'Av,…

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