Twilight (Sorry No Vampires)

In Judaism, the day begins and ends at sunset. But defining sunset can be complicated. However, for many aspects of Jewish life, such as the observance of Shabbat/holidays, prayer times…

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The Morning Blessings-Blessing #12: Every Step

Every morning, a set of 15 blessings is recited to express our thanks to God for all the things that we, as healthy human beings, are capable of doing. Ba’ruch Ah’tah Ah’doh’nai…

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Return of the Dead?

The relationship of the living and the dead is an oft debated topic by the sages. Judaism firmly believes that, post mortem, a person's neshama (soul) goes to an afterworld known as Olam…

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Mezuzah: Complete Fulfillment

A mezuzah on the doorpost is a public sign of a Jewish home. If you open the decorative container of the mezuzah you will find a piece of parchment with two sets of Hebrew verses from…

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Praying In Many Ways

Many nutritionists recommend that a person should have three square meals a day to maintain his/her physical well-being. Spiritual nutritionists (our sages) recommend that for the utmost…

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Send Them On Their Way

Hachnassat Orchim, welcoming guests, is one of the better known mitzvot. For many, this is also one of the easiest. After all, who doesn’t enjoy having people over, acting as host, and…

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Try These

Pikuach Nefesh is the mitzvah of saving a person's life. Needless to say, it is one of the most important mitzvot one can do. In fact, one is obligated to break Shabbat in order to save a…

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Why We Pray In Hebrew

How, it is often asked, can a person pray if he or she does not understand Hebrew? What is the purpose of the prayer service if it is merely a sequence of hard to pronounce and…

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Whosoever is Wise

“Return, O Israel, for you have stumbled in your sin.” (Hosea 14:2) Um, who has the remote control? Can someone please change the channel?! Let’s face it, none of us really want to hear a…

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Whosoever Is Wise

"Return, O Israel, for you have stumbled in your sin" (Hosea 14:2). Um, who has the remote control? Can someone please change the channel?! Let’s face it, none of us really want to hear a…

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Shoftim 5780-2020

"Security for Citizens and Caring for Guests” (updated and revised from parashat Shoftim 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we encounter…

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Kee Tavo 5767-2007

"Can the Promise of G-d Keep the People Holy?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Parashat Kee Tavo is one of the two parashiot in the Torah that features the Tochacha, the terrifying…

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Eikev 5768-2008

"Fear and Reverence of G-d" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, in parashat Eikev, Moses stresses to the Jewish people that notwithstanding their improprieties, G-d's love for His…

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Vayeira 5769-2008

"'Shalom Bayit', Little White Lies" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Vayeira, Abraham receives the stunning news from the three "guests" whom he has welcomed into his home, that…

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Va’eira 5762-2002

"Can We Question G-d and Get Away With It?" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Va'eira, opens with G-d's response to Moshe's complaint that things have…

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“That’s All Folks…”

Melvin Jerome Blank, known as “The Man of a Thousand Voices,” was born on May 30, 1908, in San Francisco, CA, to Frederick and Eva Blank. While in high school in Portland, OR, Mel changed…

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Mezuzah: Complete Fulfillment

A mezuzah on the doorpost is a public sign of a Jewish home. If you open the decorative container of the mezuzah you will find a piece of parchment with two sets of Hebrew verses from…

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The Sukkot Hoshanot Service

Walk into a traditional synagogue in the middle of morning services during the week of Sukkot and you might have to take precaution not to be trampled upon by the circle of attendees…

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Mikeitz 5781-2020

“A Dysfunctional Family Becomes Functional” (updated and revised from Mikeitz 5762-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, the soap opera, (just…

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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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