Birds of a Feather

Ornithologists distinguish the birds they admire by their shape, size, eating habits, plumage and a host of other distinct features. Those looking at birds to determine whether they are…

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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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Unicorns

Young girls often wish for fairies, and brash youth dream of dragons. There is a delightful allure to the legends of fantastical creatures. But, according to the Midrash, not all such…

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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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Radio Man

The World Day of Radio, that is held annually on February 13th, was approved by the 26th General Conference of UNESCO on November 3, 2011. Its goal is to emphasize the importance of radio…

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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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Under The Apple Tree

Today is National Pie Day, and if you base fact upon popular idioms, then America’s favorite food would be apple pie. It may be true, or it may just be a reflection of the fact that…

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God’s Secret Things

In less than a week, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated. While New Year’s celebrations are nice (the Jewish calendar actually has four of them!), Rosh Hashana’s…

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The Alarm Clock

New beginnings are often difficult. For those who are not “morning people,” every day is a new beginning, and we must be thankful to whoever invented the alarm clock, which keeps us from…

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Holiday Greetings

The standard pre-Rosh Hashana greeting of “K’tiva v’chatima tova” ("May you be written and sealed for good”) is deduced from a Talmudic discussion concerning the three heavenly…

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Cheer Up The Lonely

The most frequently cited reason for the destruction of the Second Temple is Sin'at Chinam, best translated as senseless hatred. The in-fighting among the Jews of Judea, not only weakened…

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The Second Uprising

History is a study in cause and effect. On the 9th of Av (Saturday, July 25. Fast observed on Sunday, July 26), the Jewish people mourn two additional tragic events that…

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Simple Measurements

In honor of World Metrology Day, which celebrates the 1875 Metre Convention that established a worldwide uniformity of measurement (with the notable exception of the United States),…

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Paschal Lamb – A Unique Commandment

While most Jews have attended a Passover seder, no Jew in the last 1,900 plus years has tasted a Paschal lamb ("Korban Pesach"), the animal offering associated with Passover that shares…

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How to Lend a Cup of Sugar

A cup of sugar, a couple of eggs or a few onions. These are the types of items that neighbors often lend to one another without a second thought. As a good neighbor, a borrower will often…

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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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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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All That Jazz

In honor of April being Jazz month, Jewish Treats presents a short biography of Artie Shaw, who often competed with Benny Goodman for the title of “The King of Swing.” Born in New York…

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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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Tombstone

In Judaism, the dead are given great respect. One important tradition that reflects the Jewish faith’s respect for the deceased is the placing of a tombstone upon the grave. From a…

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The Story of Chanukah

Around the year 167 B.C.E., the Syrian-Greek rulers of Judea tried to force the Jews to assimilate into Hellenic culture. They summoned the Jews to the town squares where they were forced…

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Sweet

"There is always room for sweet things." Although this quote comes straight from the Talmud (Megillah 7b), it is a common sentiment among many cultures. In the lifetime of Abaye, the sage…

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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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Picking Up Pigskin

The Jewish dietary laws prohibit Jews from eating any food products derived from animals that do not have both split hooves and chew their cud. It is a not uncommon assumption that Jews…

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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.…

Read More

God’s Secret Things

In a less than a week, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated. While New Year’s celebrations are nice (the Jewish calendar actually has four of them!), Rosh Hashana’s…

Read More

Holiday Greetings

The standard pre-Rosh Hashana greeting of “K’tiva v’chatima tova” ("May you be written and sealed for good”) is deduced from a Talmudic discussion concerning the three heavenly…

Read More

The Rebbe from Berdichev

One of the major themes of the recently–observed High Holidays is to “emulate” God. Just as God is merciful to humankind, so should we be. One of the greatest role models for this type of…

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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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