Tazria 5771-2011

“Childbirth and Ritual Impurity” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Our latest grandchild, Yosef Yehudah Berger, was born to our children, Ayelet and Gavriel Berger, on Thursday, March 10th,…

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America’s First Synagogue

In 1656, Shearith Israel, the first synagogue was established in the territory that came to be known as the United States. The synagogue, also known as the Spanish and Portuguese…

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Lech Lecha 5770-2009

"Go for Yourself " by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, the Almighty says to Abram (Genesis 12:1): "Lech l'cha may'ar'tzeh'chah, oo'mee'mo'lahd't'cha,…

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If Shabbat Is Saturday, Why Does It Begin On Friday Night?

There Was Evening, And There Was Morning...When following the Gregorian (secular) calendar, it is natural to think of the days of the week as Sunday, Monday....Friday, Saturday, each…

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Midnight

A day is divided into 24 equal units of time (hours). Different cultures, however, define the beginning (and end) of a day differently. For instance, while a day on the Gregorian calendar…

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Midnight

A day is divided into 24 equal units of time (hours). Different cultures, however, define the beginning (and end) of a day differently. For instance, while a day on the Gregorian calendar…

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If Shabbat Is Saturday, Why Does It Begin On Friday Night?

There Was Evening, And There Was Morning... When following the Gregorian (secular) calendar, it is natural to think of the days of the week as Sunday, Monday....Friday, Saturday, each day…

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Take A Sabbatical

It is interesting that the two most common professions which offer sabbatical leaves are academia and clergy. These two professions are fields in which practitioners devote a great deal…

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Kee Tavo 5765-2005

"Contemporary Implications of an Ancient Ritual" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In our analysis of parashat Kee Tavo for 2003/5763, we reviewed the message of the extraordinary confession…

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Is It Almost Spring?

February 2nd, is Groundhog Day, when thousands breathlessly wait to see if the groundhog is scared into six more weeks of hibernation by the sight of his shadow. This tradition reveals…

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Take A Sabbatical

It is interesting that the two most common professions which offer sabbatical leaves are academia and clergy. These two professions are fields in which practitioners devote a great deal…

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Terumah 5779-2019

“The Mishkan: Underscoring the Centrality of the Home in Jewish Life” (Revised and updated from Terumah 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week’s parasha, parashat…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5774-2014

“Repentance-With a Little Help from our Friend in Heaven!” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Nitzavim, the first of this week’s double parashiot, Nitzavim-Vayeilech, we read the…

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Jews and 2020

On Rosh Hashana eve 2007, late night comic, David Letterman, quipped, “It’s Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year 5768, and I’m still writing 5767 on my checks.” As Jews worldwide woke up…

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President Grover Cleveland

President Grover Cleveland, the only U.S. president to have served in two non-consecutive terms, was one of two Democrats (the other being Woodrow Wilson) to have served as president…

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Simchat Torah 5767-2006

"The Evolving Holiday" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald The festival of Simchat Torah is one of the most joyous of the Jewish calendar. In Israel, following the conclusion of the festival of…

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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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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5781-2021

“The Original Jewish Renewal Movement” (Updated and revised from Vayakhel-Pekudei 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Shabbat, two parashiot, Vayakhel and Pekudei, are read,…

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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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Rosh Chodesh

The very first commandment that was given to the entire Jewish nation was the commandment to celebrate the appearance of the new moon. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of…

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Shoftim 5761-2001

"Security for Citizens and Caring for Guests" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shoftim, Deuteronomy 21, we encounter the ritual of the Eglah Arufah,…

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Completing the Cycle of Talmud

In August 1923, weeks before the High Holidays, Rabbi Meir Shapiro, dean of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva in Poland, proposed that the entire Jewish world study a daily folio of Talmud (a…

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Rosh Chodesh

The very first commandment that was given to the entire Jewish nation was the commandment to celebrate the appearance of the new moon. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of…

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Chanukah and Divine Order

Chanukah always overlaps with at least one Shabbat (if not two), and since Chanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev and lasts for eight days, the holiday always coincides with the…

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Naso 5777-2017

"G-d's Gift of a Second Chance" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, is the longest of all the parashiot of the Torah. It is appropriately read most often on…

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Toledot 5770-2009

"The Jew Under the Microscope" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. BuchwaldIn this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, the Torah tells us that, once again, there was a famine in the land of Canaan, aside…

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Va’eira 5764-2004

"The Names of G-d and Their Meanings" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. BuchwaldIn this coming week's parasha, parashat Va'eira, G-d speaks to Moses and says to him (Exodus 6:2): "Ah'nee Hashem," I…

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Meet Me at the JCC

If you ask a cross-section of Jews what they associate with the “JCC,” you may get a variety of answers. That is because the JCC offers a large swath of services to a very large variety…

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Devarim 5775-2015

“Looking Through the Pain, Toward a Bright Future” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, we begin reading the fifth and final book of the Torah, the…

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Lech Lecha 5778-2017

“The Beautiful, Barren Matriarchs” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, G-d commands Abram and Sarai (their names had not yet been changed), to give…

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