Toledot 5774-2013

“A Revolutionary Definition of Parenthood”

In his comments on parashat Toledot, Rabbi Joseph B. Soleveitchik attributes to Abraham the introduction of a bold and extraordinarily novel concept of parenthood -- the “teaching parent.”

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Yom Kippur 5774-2013

Chesbon Hanefesh – Introspection”

The marvelous Hebrew term, Chesbon Hanefesh, means taking an accounting of one’s soul, and sitting in spiritual judgment of oneself. The High Holy Days are a most propitious time for “Chesbon Hanefesh” that must not be frittered away.

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Emor 5768-2008

"Creed or Deed"

The Torah instructs us to observe G-d's commandments and to perform them, leading Rashi to comment that one must study the commandments diligently in order to perform them properly. Jewish scholars engage in a very cogent argument over whether creed or deed takes precedence.

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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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Devarim 5763-2003

"The Gentle Reproof"

The book of Devarim records the words that were spoken by Moses in the last five weeks of his life, given as a last will and testament to his beloved people. In this parasha, Moses provides an example of how reproof should be given by alluding to the people indirectly, rather than announcing the exact sins that were committed. We may indeed learn from Moses how to give effective reproof with great gentleness.

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Va’etchanan 5761-2001

"The Mandate for Parental Involvement in Jewish Education"

The phrase "V'shee'nan'tahm l'vah'neh'chah" and you shall teach your children, found in the Shema, underscores the Torah's mandate requiring Jews to educate their children. There is no such thing as overdosing on Jewish education, or being too zealous or too extreme about Jewish education. Parents must not compromise on Jewish education. The alternative is very much Jewish oblivion.

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