Can You Spare A Lung

Postmortem organ donations seem like a thoroughly altruistic act. However, from a Jewish perspective, there are certain other issues that must be taken into consideration: 1) Is the…

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Gluckel of Hamelin

Twenty years after Samuel Pepys stopped writing his famous diary of life in London, Gluckel of Hamelin (1646-1724), the widow of a Jewish gem and metal dealer in Hamburg, took up her pen.…

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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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Random Acts of Kindness

An entire generation of North Americans hear the words “random acts of kindness” and immediately think of Oprah Winfrey. Without question, the queen of afternoon television has done…

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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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Gevurah – Strength

The second week of Sefirat Ha’Omer, the counting of the days between Passover and Shavuot, is dedicated to the Sephirah of Gevurah - Strength. (For an explanation of the sephirot, please…

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The Thirty-Six

How many truly righteous people do you know? People who not only dedicate themselves to living religious lives but who really strive to serve God, and succeed. The true inner…

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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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Can You Spare A Lung

Postmortem organ donations seem like a thoroughly altruistic act. However, from a Jewish perspective, there are certain other issues that must be taken into consideration: 1) Is the donor…

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The Strength of the Family

Before the Shabbat meal, it is customary for the parents to bless their children. This blessing is known as Birkat Habanim. Actually, there are two separate blessings recited, one for…

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Kedoshim 5760 – 2000

"The Revolutionary Idea of Holiness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, Parashat K'doshim, we encounter that magical and revolutionary word which the Torah has…

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Vayigash 5770-2009

"How Much is Enough?" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, Joseph dramatically reveals himself to his brothers and instructs them to bring his father…

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Noah 5768-2007

"Noah: A Biblical Profile" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald When compared to the dynamic Abraham and even to the self-indulgent Adam, Noah often pales in comparison to these two great fathers…

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Kindness Day

While giving charity (tzedakah) is an act of kindness (chesed), acts of kindness are not necessarily charity. According to the Talmudic sage Rabbi Elazar, “Acts of My kindness are greater…

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Random Acts of Kindness

An entire generation of North Americans hear the words “random acts of kindness” and immediately think of Oprah Winfrey. Without question, the queen of afternoon television has done…

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Is Today Rosh Hashana?

A quick perusal of the Jewish calendar will note that today, the first of the Hebrew month of Shevat, always falls two weeks prior to Tu b’Shevat, the beginning of the end of the winter,…

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Boundary Stones and Unfair Competition in Jewish Law

In parshat Shoftim in the book of Deuteronomy, the Torah teaches that, “You shall not move your fellow’s landmarks, set up by previous generations, in the property that will be allotted…

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In Flows Shevat

Despite what one might expect, Jewish tradition does not dismiss the signs of the zodiac (Click here for a Treat on Jewish Months and the Zodiac). In fact, it is quite interesting to see…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5762-2002

"The Promise of Total Return" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parashiot, Nitzavim and Vayeilech, are among the final parashiot of the book of Deuteronomy and contain the…

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B’ha’alot’cha 5760-2000

"Giving Our Disciples A Firm Grounding" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Beha'alotecha, G-d speaks to Moshe and says to him (Numbers 8:2): "Daber el…

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Chayei Sarah 5771-2010

“What Shall I Do, My Parents Hate Him?!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we encounter the world’s first shidduch (arranged marriage) and the…

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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…

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Yitro 5768-2008

"Welcoming Jethro, the Idolatrous Priest" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Yitro, we read of the arrival of Moses' father-in-law in the wilderness, where the…

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Noah 5778-2017

“Rebuilding the World Through the Children of Noah” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although this week’s parasha, parashat Noah, focuses primarily on the Flood, it also traces the history of…

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Chayei Sarah 5770-2009

"The Willing Bride" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, the wondrous story unfolds of Rebecca's selection to be the wife of Isaac and, ultimately,…

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Pinchas 5771-2011

"'Pinchas'--What’s in a Name?" Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Pinchas, we learn that G-d praises Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the Priest, for…

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Vayeitzei 5762-2001

"From Ish Tam to Business Mogul: The Transformation of Jacob" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald As this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, opens, we encounter Jacob as he arrives in…

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Kee Tisah 5765-2005

"Shabbat as a Priority in Jewish Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Although there are many dramatic moments in the latter parts of parashat Kee Tisah, the early parts of the parasha…

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Chayei Sarah 5773-2012

"Beware Not to Return My Son There!" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, we learn that Abraham, who is well-on in years, is deeply concerned about…

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Emor 5773-2013

"Sanctifying G-d’s Name" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, we find the seminal commandments to sanctify G-d’s name and the prohibition of desecrating…

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