The Great Shabbat

The Shabbat immediately preceding Passover is known as Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat. It is best known for being the Shabbat on which the rabbi of the community (or another…

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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…

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Foreign Fruit?

 elxeneize / Via bigstockphoto.com In two days time, the Jewish people will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat, which is often referred to as the Jewish New Year of trees.…

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Seek Out The Positive

An ethical dilemma: A close friend confides in you that he/she recently purchased an expensive, one-of-a-kind, non-returnable item. When he/she shows it to you, you are immediately aware…

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Chanukah – What’s the Mitzvah

Here's a quiz:What is the primary mitzvah of Chanukah?a) Eating latkes (potato pancakes)b) Giving Chanukah gifts or gelt (money)c) Publicizing the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 daysd)…

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Giving Gifts

"One who is diligent in lighting Chanukah candles will have children who are scholars" (Talmud Shabbat 23b).The desire for scholarly children was actually one of the motivations…

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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…

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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…

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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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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…

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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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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.…

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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…

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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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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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…

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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.…

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