In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

On August 3, 1492, Columbus’ three ships set sail from Spain. But did you know that August 2, 1492, was Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av, and the date by which all Jews were required…

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In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

On August 3, 1492, Columbus’ three ships set sail from Spain. But did you know that August 2, 1492, was Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av, and the date by which all Jews were required…

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Kinnot

KinnotMany devastating events took place on the 9th of Av. This is why the Jewish people consider it the saddest day on the…

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av The saddest day in the Jewish calendar, believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy.  Guide…

The Jews of Turkey: A Historical Overview

Given Turkey’s proximity to the Land of Israel, it is not surprising that there has been a Jewish presence in that country since at least the 4th century B.C.E, when the land was Roman…

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The Saddest Day

When ten of the twelve scouts who were dispatched by Moses to survey the Promised Land returned with a negative report, God’s anger was kindled. The Almighty decreed that the adults of…

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The First Jew in the Colonies

When does American Jewish history begin? Some would say that it begins in 1492, when Columbus set sail on his historic voyage accompanied by at least one known Jewish crew member (Luis de…

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Elegies (Kinnot)

An elegy is defined as a mournful poem or a lament. In Hebrew, an elegy is known as a kinna. On Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second…

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Elegies (Kinnot)

An elegy is defined as a mournful poem or a lament. In Hebrew, an elegy is known as a kinna. On Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second…

Read More

Elegies (Kinnot)

An elegy is defined as a mournful poem or a lament. In Hebrew, an elegy is known as a kinna. On Tisha B’Av, when the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and Second…

Read More

Toledot 5781-2020

“The Ancient Origins and Practice of Anti-Semitism” (updated and revised from Toledot 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn that…

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“…You Border on the Adriatic”

For many Americans, knowledge of Albania may derive from a famous scene in the sitcom “Cheers,” where “Coach” helps “Sam” study geography via the use of songs. They did this by singing,…

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Shelach 5769-2009

"Long-Term Consequences" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach, we are told of the twelve scouts who were sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan in…

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Lech Lecha 5774-2013

"Setting the Stage for the Jewish Future" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Lech Lecha, the Torah tells of the exploits of Abraham and Sarah. The remarkable…

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The Don’s Commentary

Don Isaac Abrabanel (1437-1508) was one of the greatest statesmen of his time (the second half of the 15th century). He was a financial genius who served in the royal courts of Portugal,…

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Albania and the Jews

Albania, which today marks its Independence Day, is a small Balkan country with an almost minute Jewish population. While it was never a country with a large Jewish population, there have…

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Stolen Lives

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the independence of the islands of Sao Tome and Principe from Portugal. The islands, which are located off the western coast of Africa, were mostly…

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The End of the Inquisition

In 1834, President Andrew Jackson was censured by Congress, Charles Darwin spent the year on the HMS Beagle and a number of Upper Canadian towns were incorporated into the city of…

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A Community Revealed

In 1492, four families in Belmonte, Portugal began to live secret lives that would last for generations. Like many Jews on the Iberian Peninsula, in response to the Inquisition, which…

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So Where Are You From?

When reading about Judaism, one often comes across the terms “Ashkenazim” and “Sephardim.” While these names are ethnic subdivisions of the Jewish world, they are actually based on…

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Success After Exile

When King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled the Jews from Spain in 1492, Rabbi David ben Solomon ibn (Abi) Zimra (known as the RaDBaZ, his initials) was 13 years old.  His family…

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The First Inquisited

Although it was not the first Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition* was unique from its very inception on November 1, 1478, because it was controlled by the monarchy rather than the…

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Hebron Purim

Jewish Treats presents to you another local Purim, a day on which one small community commemorates a particularly life-saving event. Purim Hebron, also known as "Window Purim." Sadly, the…

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The Jews of Genoa

In honor of Columbus Day, Jewish Treats presents a brief history of early Jewish life in Columbus’ hometown of Genoa (also called Genova). Although it is generally presumed that Jews…

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The Don’s Commentary

Don Isaac Abrabanel (1437-1508) was one of the greatest statesmen of his time (the second half of the 15th century). A financial genius who served in the royal courts of Portugal, Castile…

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A Convert of the Inquisition

The first auto-de-fe (live human burning) of the Spanish Inquisition took place in 1481. The Inquisition was not, as many believe, an institution set to destroy the Jewish people, but…

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The Great Don

Few people in Jewish history understood the “wheel of fortune*” as well as Don Isaac Abrabanel (Lisbon, 1437 - Venice, 1508). Born into a prominent, wealthy Portugese family, Don Isaac…

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So Where Are You From?

When reading about Judaism, one often comes across the terms “Ashkenazim” and “Sephardim.” While these names are ethnic subdivisions of the Jewish world, they are actually based on…

Read More

Toledot 5761-2000

"The Ancient Origins and Practice of Anti-Semitism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Toledot, we read that Yitzchak follows in the footsteps of his…

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How Pharaoh Forgot

The Pharaoh of the Exodus was a cold-hearted man whose fear of losing power to the growing minority of the Israelites led him to enslave them. According to Exodus: “And the children of…

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