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…

Read More

Beating The Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In…

Read More

The Stolen Child

From the perspective of Jewish history, the story of Edgardo Levi Mortara was a minor event in a long history of Christian persecution. Nevertheless, it had an important impact on world…

Read More

Beating the Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In…

Read More

Beating the Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In addition to this mitzvah,…

Read More

Beating the Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In…

Read More

Waves of Aliyah

Although the State of Israel was officially established in 1948, the beginning of the mass return of Jews to the Promised Land began in the 1880s. Each distinct wave of immigration is now…

Read More

The Story of Degania

The story of Kibbutz Degania is a testament to the fortitude of the early immigrant pioneers who settled the land of Israel prior to statehood. In honor of Yom…

Read More

Man Ray

The Dadist Cultural Movement created works so far from conventional art as to appear absurd, in order to create a new sense of reality for the audience. The movement incorporated all…

Read More

The Removal Office

In the annals of American history, there are few immigrant stories that are as successful as that of the Jews. Generally, it only took two or three generations for immigrant families to…

Read More

Beating the Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In addition to this mitzvah,…

Read More

Beating the Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In…

Read More

Earthshattering Moments in One of Israel’s Holiest Cities

Tzfat (Safed), the Israeli city in the rolling hills of the Galilee, is known as one of the four holy cities of Israel, along with Tiberias, Hebron and, of course, Jerusalem. It was the…

Read More

Beating the Willows

During Sukkot, there is a mitzvah to wave the four species (lulav, hadassim, aravot and etrog - palm, myrtle, willow and citron) every day except on Shabbat. In…

Read More

The Stolen Child

From the perspective of Jewish history, the story of Edgardo Levi Mortara was a minor event in a long history of Christian persecution. Nevertheless, it had an important impact on world…

Read More

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5769-2009

"Blood–the Essence of Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Tzav, the Torah declares rather definitively, (Leviticus 7:26), "V'chol dahm lo toch'loo b'chol mohsh'voh'taychem,"…

Read More

B’ha’alot’cha 5771-2011

"The Nature of Moses’ Humility" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’alot’cha, we learn that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses concerning the Kushite…

Read More

Vayeira 5776-2015

“The Trials of Abraham” by Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, includes at least three of the ten trials that Abraham faced during his life. Pirkei Avot, Ethics of…

Read More

Vayikra 5778-2018

"The Sins of a Leader” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   This week’s parasha, parashat Vayikra introduces the third book of the Torah, Vayikra, Leviticus. The parasha deals with the…

Read More

Emor 5778-2018

“The Great Moses Seems Not to Know the Answer” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, we encounter the episode of the מְגַדֵּף, megadef, the blasphemer, which…

Read More

Shelach 5765-2005

"Bread Alone" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald As the name of the parasha, "Shelach lecha"--send for yourself, indicates, this week's parasha focuses on the 12 scouts that were sent by the…

Read More

Mikeitz 5771-2010

"Joseph’s Bold Advice to Pharaoh" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, Joseph is taken from the dungeon and brought before Pharaoh, where he interprets…

Read More

Terumah 5772-2012

"The Outer Altar" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week's parasha, parashat Terumah, we begin to read a cycle of five Torah portions that extensively describe the building and…

Read More

B’ha’a’lot’cha 5777-2017

“The Convert and the Second Passover” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’ha’a’lot’cha, we learn of the fascinating law of פֶּסַח שֵׁנִי --Pesach Shay’nee, the…

Read More

Re’eh 5777-2017

“Coming to Jerusalem–-The Festival Pilgrimages” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Re’eh, we learn of the commandment for the Children of Israel to come to…

Read More

When Moses was the High Priest

In Modern Hebrew, mi’lu’im connotes reserve military duty that Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers who complete their compulsory service, are required to fulfil. Mi’lu’im service can…

Read More

Chayei Sara 5767-2006

"A Match Made in Haran" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we read of Abraham's determined efforts to find a wife for his beloved son Isaac, by…

Read More

Vayakhel 5763-2003

"Defining True Generosity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Va'yakhel, we learn of the erecting of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, the temporary sanctuary…

Read More

Vayakhel 5779-2019

"Jewish Women and Jewish Destiny" (Revised and updated from Vayakhel 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The vast majority of this week’s parasha, parashat Vayakhel, deals with…

Read More

Prepare for the Seder V

The words “Passover offering” refers to the lamb or goat that was offered and eaten the night of the first Seder in Egypt. That offering had to be prepared for 4 days before Passover and…

Read More