For Your Jewish Mother

If one were to believe the jokes, Jewish mothers enjoy nothing more than nagging their children to eat, encouraging grown children to get married and bragging about the children’s…

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A Look at Honesty

In honor of Honesty Day (created by M. Hirsh Goldberg in the 1990s), Jewish Treats presents some fascinating insights into the Jewish view on the importance of honesty. Much of what…

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Happy Birthday Birkat Hamazon

The Torah (Exodus 16:1) reports that the Children of Israel arrived at the Wilderness of Sin on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, approximately one month after the exodus from Egypt.…

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The Second Passover

On the first anniversary of the Exodus from Egypt, the Children of Israel prepared to celebrate their first Passover as free people. God decreed that they should eat matzah and maror…

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This Land Is Our Land

“Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai said: ‘Three things are weighed equally, and they are earth, humans and rain.’ Rabbi Levi bar Hiyyata said: ‘… to teach you that without earth there would be no…

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The Importance of Earth Day

Act responsibly. The designation of a distinct day recognized by many around the world as “Earth Day” is a reminder that we are to act as guardians of this beautiful world that God has…

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What Happened in SHUM?

While most people know about the horrors of the Crusades, many do not realize that there were, in fact, many Crusades over a period of four hundred years, and that most of these crusades…

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Israel’s Memorial Day

The State of Israel’s independence, as well as its continued survival, is a modern day miracle. But, it has come at great cost in human lives to its citizens. Therefore, before Israel…

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Einstein’s Jewish Life

Albert Einstein, whose yahrzeit is the 26th of Nissan (today), is one of the most admired men in history. His name and his face are almost universally recognized, and his scientific…

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The Song of Songs

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your goodly oils, your name is ‘oil poured forth.’ Therefore, the maidens…

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Seven Days to the Sea

The Passover celebration lasts seven days (eight days, outside of Israel). The first day (and second, outside of Israel) is a Yom Tov, festival day, on which the seder is celebrated.…

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Singing Praises

“…The prophets of the Jewish people ordained that the Hallel (Psalms of Praise), be recited on special occasions and celebrations [like Yom Tov], and at times of national deliverance from…

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Can You Count to 49?

There is a commandment (Leviticus 23:15) to count the 49 days that immediately follow the first night of Passover and, on the 50th night, to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. This period…

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Searching for Chametz

On Passover, Jews are commanded to get rid of all “chametz” (leaven) which may be in their possession. To confirm the effectiveness of these efforts, a special search for chametz, called…

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Passover Story in Brief

On Passover, we commemorate the exodus from Egyptian slavery. The following is a brief summary: Jacob’s family came to Egypt to escape a famine in Canaan. Joseph, Jacob’s son and the…

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Parasha of “The Month”

This Shabbat is Parashat HaChodesh, the Sabbath of “The Month.” The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional Torah reading) after the conclusion of the reading of the regular…

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More Than Shabbat

Ahad Ha’am (Asher Ginsberg, poet and Zionist ideologue: 1856-1927) is quoted as saying, “More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” This statement is part of the key to…

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The Power of Shabbat

Jewish life ebbs and flows around the celebration of Shabbat. The days of the week are labelled by a count toward Shabbat (Sunday is Yom Rishon, the first day; Monday is Yom Shaynee, the…

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The Fast of Esther

Tomorrow, the 13th of Adar, is the Fast of Esther. “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I…

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Humble Bee

February 22nd has been declared “Be Humble Day,” a “holiday” that most likely originated from the online greeting card industry. Nevertheless, a day dedicated to the importance of being…

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The Sabbath of Remembering

This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering. The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional) portion, after the conclusion of the regular weekly Torah…

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Until 120!

According to Wikipedia, “The oldest verified person on record was French woman Jeanne Calment (1875 – 1997), who lived to the age of 122 years.” This fact is an excellent opportunity to…

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Learn from Moses

Study the Torah to appreciate many of the great characteristics that Moses possessed and utilized during his 120 years including his skillful leadership of the Jewish people and being…

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Random Acts of Kindness

An entire generation of North Americans hear the words “random acts of kindness” and immediately think of Oprah Winfrey. Without question, the queen of afternoon television has done…

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Presidents’ Day: The Jews and Martin Van Buren

In 1840, the news of the terrible fate of the Jewish community of Damascus (Syria) reached the shores of America and brought the disparate Jewish communities of the young American nation…

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Just a Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Parashat Shekalim (shekels, the Biblical monetary units). The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read, as the Maftir portion after the regular…

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When Adar Begins

The month of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar year, begins this Friday evening, February 12th (Rosh Chodesh is two days, but Adar begins on Friday night). The Talmud…

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The First Ten

If the children of Israel received the Torah at Mount Sinai, why did Moses come down bearing only “two tablets of testimony” luchot ha’aidoot (Exodus 32:15), on which the Ten Commandments…

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Yitro 5781-2021

“Structural Secrets of the Decalogue” (updated and revised from Yitro 5762-2002) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald     In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we…

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Does God Experience Difficulty?

In the middle of parashat B’shalach, we encounter the great miracle of God splitting the Red Sea. The sages in the Talmud (Sotah 2a) used this great supernatural phenomenon to declare…

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