No Nicknames

Did you have a nickname growing up? Did you use it, or was it a name reserved for use by your closest friends or just family? It is fascinating to note that Jewish law frowns upon…

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Supply List

What do gold, silver and copper; aqua, purple and red-dyed wool; linen, goat hair, animal skins, acacia wood, olive oil, spices and gems have in common? These were the primary items that…

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Dan, Son of Jacob

Rachel had Jacob’s heart, Leah had his children. For four long years, Rachel watched her sister give birth to son after son until she could bear it no longer. Frustrated but determined,…

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For Her Protection

Historically, women (and children) have been the hardest hit victims of war. Beyond the killing, looting and pillaging that, until modern times (and some would argue that things are not…

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Sitting Shiva

Sitting shiva is the Jewish method of mourning the dead. A person has an obligation to mourn for his/her seven closest relations: spouse, father, mother, brother, sister, son or…

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A Vow Like No Other

Jews are not ascetics. In fact, according to Jewish philosophy, the Jew’s job is to take the physical and draw out its spiritual nature. One can’t do that when trying to avoid the…

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The Tragedy of Jealousy

The Talmud (Yevamot 62b) relates that “Rabbi Akiva had 12,000 pairs of students...and all of them died in one period of time because they did not act with respect toward each other...they…

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Is It Good To Be The King?

Parashat Shoftim addresses many issues, among them the Jewish jurisprudential system, false prophets and the Arei Miklat, cities of refuge. The guidelines for the appointment of a future…

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What Are Tefillin?

“And you shall bind them [the words that I command you today] for a sign upon your arm, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes... (Deuteronomy 6:8)” The above verse refers to…

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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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Va’eira 5781-2021

“Mesmerized by the Subtle Slavery” (updated and revised from Va’eira 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’eira, G-d assures Moses that the Jewish…

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