Kee Tisah 5781-2021

“Reverence for Learning in Jewish Tradition” (updated and revised from Kee Tisah 5763-2003) In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read of the fateful sin of the Jewish people…

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Kosher in Gracie Mansion

Although New York has one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States (the first Jews arrived in 1654), the first openly Jewish mayor of New York City was not elected until…

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Mishpatim 5781-2021

“‘An Eye for an Eye’ in Jewish Law” (updated and revised from Mishpatim 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mishpatim, the Torah introduces the…

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Feeling Fit Focused on Napoleon

Believe it or not, body building as an international sport, has Jewish roots. Jewish Treats presents a brief biography of Ben Weider, who, together with his brother Joe, created the…

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Shemot 5781-2021

“The Not-So-Obvious Process of Hebrew Enslavement” (revised and updated from parashat Shemot 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we…

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Sitting in the House of Commons

On July 26, 1858, Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild entered the British House of Commons and took the oath required to serve as a Member of Parliament. His oath was a groundbreaking step…

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Bereshith 5781-2020

“The Origins and Meaning of Evil” (updated and revised from Bereshith 5762-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   After 9/11 and the World Trade Center terrorist bombings, we thought…

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Eikev 5780-2020

“The Intermarriage Conundrum” (updated and edited from parashat Eikev 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, conclude the…

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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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Impeachment and the Jewish Tradition

On February 24, 1868, a U.S. president was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time. Three months later, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson. 35…

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A Maccabee’s Who’s Who

Mattityahu (Mattathias): A High Priest descended from the Hasmonean line, Mattityahu lived in Modi’in with his five sons. Mattityahu started the rebellion against the Syrian-Greeks…

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Jews in the Land of Lincoln

The first known Jewish resident of what is now the state of Illinois was John Hays, a grandson of a New York Jew, who moved west to Cahokia in 1793. Hays was a farmer and trader, who, in…

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Shoftim 5779-2019

“War, the Jewish Community and Jewish Family Life” (Revised and updated from Shoftim 5760-2000) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shoftim, we learn, in great…

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Virginia is for Lovers… of Israel

While cities like Charleston, Philadelphia and New York contained Jewish communities during the pre-revolutionary period, Virginia, the largest of the colonies, did not. Individual Jews…

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Honoring King

“The Hebrew prophets belong to all people because their concepts of justice and equality have become ideals for all races and civilizations. Today we particularly need the Hebrew prophets…

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The Circle of Life

“The Circle of Life,” is both an apt description of the ups and downs of the life cycle, and also an award-winning song written by the legendary Sir Elton John for the 1994 movie hit…

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Do “Clothes Make the Man?”

The phrase “Clothes make the man” was adapted by Mark Twain from Shakespeare’s “For the apparel oft proclaims the man,” a comment made by Polonius in Hamlet. “Dress for Success” was a…

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The Sadducee King Yannai

Alexander Jannaeus (Yannai or Y’honatan in Hebrew) served as the second Hasmonean king of Judea from 103 BCE until his death in 76 BCE. The third son of John Hyrcanus, he succeeded his…

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North Star State’s First Jewish Senator

Rudolph Ely Boschwitz was born on November 7, 1930 in Berlin, Germany to his Jewish parents Lucy (Dawidowicz) and Eli. When he was 3, coinciding with Hitler’s rise to power, the Boschwitz…

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Toledot 5779-2018

NJOP stands in solidarity with the Squirrel Hill community in Pittsburgh and expresses its profound condolences to the members and families of the Tree of Life Congregation who lost their…

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Levi Eshkol

No leader wants to send troops to their deaths in battle. But facing the destruction of one’s nation is a trial no leader should ever face. Israel’s second Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol,…

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Rabbi Shimon’s Favorite Tree

On Lag Ba’omer, Jews around the world honor the memory of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a student of Rabbi Akiva who delved into the esoteric meaning of the Torah.  He taught what is…

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Unexpected Sri Lankan History

Today’s Jewish Treat will take a brief look at an unexpected location for Jewish history: Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon). Located off the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka’s Jewish community…

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Feeling Fit Focused on Napoleon

Believe it or not, body building as an international sport, has Jewish roots. Today, in honor of his birth date, Jewish Treats presents a brief biography of Ben Weider, who, together with…

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The Book(s) of Maccabees

Chanukah is neither directly ordained in the Torah (like Rosh Hashana, Passover, etc.) nor mentioned in any other biblical text (as Purim is in the Book of Esther). The Books of Maccabees…

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The Jewish Legion

On August 23, 1917, the British government announced that they would create a military unit specifically for Jewish enlistees. The goal of the British government was to recruit the…

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The Jews of St. Estatius: A Story of the American Revolution

The story of St. Estatius, a small Caribbean Island, brings together a remote location, the American Revolution and Jewish history. It is one of those strange tales Jewish Treats loves to…

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Korach 5777-2017

“Mrs. Ohn: The Unsung Hero” The Torah, in Numbers 16:1, records the initial steps of the rebellion: וַיִּקַּח קֹרַח בֶּן יִצְהָר בֶּן קְהָת בֶּן לֵוִי, וְדָתָן וַאֲבִירָם בְּנֵי אֱלִיאָב,…

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The Charleston Synagogue(s)

Charleston, South Carolina is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States. The 1669 charter for the Carolina Colony explicitly included liberty of conscious for…

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A Maccabee’s Who’s Who

Mattityahu (Mattathias): A High Priest descended from the Hasmonean line, Mattityahu lived in Modi’in with his five sons. Mattityahu started the rebellion against the Syrian-Greeks…

Read More