Eikev 5780-2020

“The Intermarriage Conundrum” (updated and edited from parashat Eikev 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, conclude the…

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The First Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel

When history books discuss immigration to the land of Israel at the beginning of the twentieth century, the waves of immigrants to which they refer were, for the most part, Ashkenazim…

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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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Pinchas 5762-2002

"Loving the Land of Israel" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn the fascinating tale of five trail-blazing young women: Machla, Noa,…

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Pinchas 5781-2021

"Loving the Land of Israel” (updated and revised from Pinchas 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn the fascinating tale of five…

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Tetzaveh 5763-2003

"The Primacy of Jewish Education" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In last week's parasha, parashat Terumah, we read of the appeal for donations to build the Tabernacle--the portable…

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Vayikra 5777-2017

“רֵיחַ נִיחוֹחַ --A Sweet Savor unto the L-rd” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week's parasha, parashat Vayikra, we begin reading the third book of the Torah, Vayikra, which is…

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Kedoshim 5779-2019

“The Revolutionary Idea of Holiness’” (Revised and updated from Kedoshim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat Kedoshim, we encounter a…

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The Source of Leadership

Great leaders can move mountains...or at least, masses of people. Ezra the Scribe was just such a leader, and it was his charisma and wisdom that inspired the Jews to leave their…

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Israel’s First Spy

While religious Jews acknowledge that the creation and continued existence of the State of Israel is a Divine gift, God appoints his messengers to facilitate His work, including…

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Vayeitzei 5764-2003

"In Praise of Humility" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we find Jacob fleeing from the death threats of his brother, Esau. As the sun sets in…

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Acharei Mot 5763-2003

"The Jewish Method of Achieving Moral Perfection" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Acharei Mot, we read one of the resounding exhortations of the…

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Kedoshim 5765-2005

"Living a Sanctified Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The message of this week's parasha, parashat Kedoshim, is surely one of the most exalted messages for humankind. In the Torah…

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Jews in Mississippi

In 1804, a year after the “Louisiana Purchase” was concluded, the United States government created the “Mississippi Territory.” On December 10, 1817, statehood was granted to Mississippi.…

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Re’eh 5771-2011

"Listening to the Message" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, Moses continues his exhortation to the Jewish people, imploring them to remain faithful to…

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Chayei Sarah 5772-2011

“The Mystery of Machpelah” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we read of the passing of Abraham’s wife, the matriarch Sarah, at age 127, and her…

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A Light Unto the Sunshine State

What U.S. cities enjoy the largest Jewish populations? You probably included New York, Los Angeles and Miami, which are indeed the three cities, in order, with the largest Jewish…

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Wise as Solomon

King Solomon is best known for his brilliance and wisdom, attributes that were actually a requested gift from God. It happened this way: One night, God spoke to Solomon in a dream and…

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The Sino-Jewish Axis

During Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s 2010 confirmation hearings, she was asked where she had spent the previous Christmas. With a broad smile, Ms. Kagan responded,…

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The Spiritual Harvest of the Ant

Are you familiar with Aesop’s Fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper”? It’s a morality tale about hard work and planning ahead, and it might just have you picturing the original version of…

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Jews in the Land of Lincoln

The first known Jewish resident of what is now the state of Illinois was John Hays, a grandson of a New York Jew, who moved west to Cahokia in 1793. Hays was a farmer and trader, who, in…

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Solomon Bush and the Revolutionary War

What was the highest rank obtained by a Jewish soldier during the Revolutionary War? The answer is Lieutenant-Colonel, by order of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania, to Solomon Bush.…

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Operation Peace for Galilee/ the (First) Lebanon War

In 1981, frequent katyusha rockets launched into Israel by Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists located on Lebanon’s southern border, made life unsustainable for Israelis…

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Goodly Tents

Much of Jewish life is built around community. Jews often live close to each other, often with a synagogue or synagogues at the center of their neighborhoods. As important as living in a…

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The Charleston Synagogue(s)

Charleston, South Carolina is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States. The 1669 charter for the Carolina Colony explicitly included liberty of conscious for…

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A Community Revealed

In 1492, four families in Belmonte, Portugal began to live secret lives that would last for generations. Like many Jews on the Iberian Peninsula, in response to the Inquisition, which…

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This One and This One

Within the spectrum of Jewish law there are sometimes two seemingly incompatible opinions that are both correct. How can one rabbi permit something that another rabbi prohibits? The…

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A Truly Jewish Hospital

It happened during the Holocaust that Rabbi Yekusiel Yehuda Halberstam was shot in the arm by the Nazis. Afraid to go to the Nazi infirmary, which he felt meant certain death, Rabbi…

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Jews in the Philippines

When they think about the Philippines, most people do not think of Jews. However, a Jewish presence has been documented in the Philippines from as far back as the 1500s. The 16th century…

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Random Acts of Kindness

Today, November 13, 2013 is "World Kindness Day." An entire generation of North Americans hear the words “random acts of kindness” and immediately think of Oprah Winfrey. Without…

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