Naso-Shavuot 5767-2007

"Honey and Milk Under Your Tongue"

Based on a verse in the book of Song of Songs, the rabbis compare the Torah to honey and milk. What is the source of the great love affair that the Jewish people have with Torah?

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Naso 5766-2006

"A Lesson from the N'seeim--the Tribal Leaders"

The fact that the Torah dwells at great length on the gifts of the tribal Princes should serve as a clue that there is much for us to learn from this particular Torah portion and from the behavior of the Princes, as well as from the actions of Moses and Aaron.

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Shavuot 5766-2006

"Appreciating Shavuot"

Of all the major holidays of Judaism, Shavuot is the least known and the least observed. Shavuot is known by many different names and has a rich message for all the Jewish people. Most of all, Shavuot commemorates the greatest moment of Jewish unity when the Torah was given by the Al-mighty at Mount Sinai. It is a festival that needs to be better understood, and celebrated more broadly.

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Shavuot 5765-2005

"Abba's Final Shavuot"

My father, Moshe Buchwald taught us how to appreciate and beautify the holidays. Of all the holidays, Shavuot was the most engaging of all.

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Naso 5765-2005

"A Lesson from the N’seeim--the Tribal Leaders"

The fact that the Torah dwells at great length on the gifts of the tribal princes should serve as a clue for us that there is much to be learned from this Torah portion and from the behavior of the princes, as well as from the actions of Moses and Aaron.

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Shavuot 5763-2003

"The Remarkable Legacy of Ruth, The Righteous Convert"

The Book of Ruth could easily pass for a stirring love story. However, the Book of Ruth is far more. It is, in fact, the volume that introduces some of the most exalted philosophical and theological concepts known to humankind. It was Ruth the Moabite who restored the virtue of chessed, loving-kindness, to the people of Israel.

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Emor-Yom Ha’atzmaut 5763-2003

"The Counting of the Omer and the Celebration of Israel's Independence"

The counting of the Omer underscores the ultimate purpose of the Exodus from Egypt--the giving of the Torah! Therefore the period from the second day of Passover until the sixth day of Sivan when the festival of Shavuot is celebrated, is counted with great enthusiasm. Counting the Omer is always done in ascending numerical order rather than descending order, underscoring its positive, joyous and optimistic nature--celebrating the victory of light over darkness, morality over immorality and love over hate.

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Shavuot 5762-2002

"Beyond the Book of Ruth: The Untold Story"

Why is it that we recall King David through the reading of the story of Ruth on Shavuot, asks Rabbi Eliyahu KiTov? To teach that a person can become a tool for the purpose of heaven on this earth only through affliction and suffering. This is the message that Eliyahu KiTov finds embedded throughout the Book of Ruth.

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Shavuot 5761-2001

"The Concept of the Chosen People"

It was on Shavuot that the Jewish people received the Torah at Sinai and formally became Am Yisrael, the people of Israel. It was at that moment that the appellation "the Chosen People" was applied for the first time. This concept has caused the Jewish people much grief. It needs to be elucidated and clarified.

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Emor 5761-2001

"The Gift of Celebration"

In parashat Emor the Torah speaks of the Jewish holidays, the festivals of G-d and the holy convocations that the people are to observe at their appropriate times. Proper celebrations are necessary for good living. It is important for the community to salute springtime, as well as the season that marked the dawn of Israel's liberation from Egypt. The Jewish celebrations are truly remarkable gifts from G-d.

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Shavuot 5760-2000

"The Anonymous Holiday"

Despite the tradition that the Torah was given on the holiday of Shavuot, nowhere in the Torah is there any mention that the Torah was given on that day. Why then are the Jewish people so keen on observing this day as the holiday of giving the Torah?

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