Neilah: The Final Serevice

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

Read More

Thoughts for the Heart

February has been designated American Heart Month. For many years, heart disease was considered to be a mostly male affliction. In order to compensate for, and correct, that…

Read More

For The Sin We Committed

One of the main steps in the process of teshuva (repentance) is confessing one’s sins and verbalizing one’s errors. In so doing, a person admits committing a sin, not so much to…

Read More

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…

Read More

Symbolic Foods

Since Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment, it is customary to eat simanim,* foods with symbolic meanings that invoke God's blessing. We also recite a short prayer before eating them.…

Read More

The Jewish History of the Cyclone Roller Coaster

Coney Island’s reputation as a vacation destination began in the early 1800s, when New Yorkers would head to the beaches. Following the Civil War, Coney Island became a true recreation…

Read More

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…

Read More

Preparing for the Torah

Shortly after the Israelites encamped at the base of Mount Sinai, they agreed to accept the Torah and do all that God had commanded. And so, God declared that He would bring Himself, in…

Read More

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…

Read More

A Different Set of Loaves

There are several well-known connections between the holiday of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot. The most obvious of these is that the celebration of Shavuot is dependent on the count…

Read More

But Mom, You Promised

Parenting is no easy task. From a very early age, children demand and seek gifts and concessions from their parents. And, particularly in our overly-materialistic society, children want a…

Read More

Seeking Gold

 This week’s confluence of the Olympic Games and Valentine’s Day means many more people than usual will probably have gold on their minds. While gold is not the most expensive…

Read More

OMG! Passover is Coming

The intensive physical and emotional preparations for Passover come from one seemingly simple commandment: “Seven days you will eat only matzah, but on the first day you shall have put…

Read More

Come My Beloved

The Talmud (Shabbat 116a) describes how the sages would greet Shabbat: “Rabbi Chaninah would wrap himself in his cloak and say: ‘Come, let us go and greet the Shabbat Queen.’ Rabbi…

Read More

Great Scots

The story of the great masses of Eastern European Jews who arrived in New York and settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is more than simply conventional history. It is now regarded…

Read More

Betty Boop, Popeye and Superman – The Jewish Connection

Name the first talking animated film. The answer most people usually offer is Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willy (1928). In actuality, however, the first talking cartoons were produced by…

Read More

Remembering Bergen-Belsen

The spring brings with it annual anniversaries that mark the liberation of Nazi concentration camps, death camps and a day of renewed life for tens of thousands of survivors of the Shoah…

Read More

Neilah: The Final Serevice

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

Read More

Ethics of the Fathers

Ethics – it’s a big word in our day and age. Between political corruption and financial misdeeds, it is easy to wonder what ever happened to even the most basic ethical standards.…

Read More

For The Sin We Committed…

One of the main steps in the process of teshuva (repentance) is confessing one’s sins and verbalizing one’s errors. In so doing, a person admits committing a sin, not so much to anyone…

Read More

The Importance of English Books

In honor of April 23rd, which the United Nations has declared English Language Day, Jewish Treats presents a history of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), the oldest, not-for-profit,…

Read More

Scapegoat

The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial "scapegoat." When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing Jews…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Everyone knows about Yom Kippur. There are, however, several other fast days in the Jewish calendar that are not nearly as well known. Tomorrow, on June 25, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz…

Read More

Western Wall History

The Western (Wailing*) Wall is the most accessible holiest location in Jewish life. With 28 rows of massive stones above ground (and 17 below), the Wall itself is physically breathtaking.…

Read More

Sarah’s Whereabouts Determine Jewish Law

Parashat Vayeira begins with Abraham convalescing after his circumcision. Unexpectedly, he sees three “visitors,” whom the Midrash identifies as angels, come toward his home. Excited to…

Read More

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…

Read More

Vayeitzei 5781-2020

“The Role of Mother Rachel in Jewish History” (updated and revised from Vayeitzei 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we encounter Jacob…

Read More

Calligraphy

In honor of the upcoming National Handwriting Day, which is January 23, Jewish Treats explores the unique calligraphy practiced by a Jewish sofer (scribe). The Hebrew letters used in a…

Read More

Preparing for the Torah

Shortly after the Israelites encamped at the base of Mount Sinai, they agreed to accept the Torah and do all that God had commanded. And so, God declared that He would bring Himself, in…

Read More