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 and my maidens will also fast in like manner; and so…

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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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Hester Panim

One might think that the Book of Esther is a heroic tale about Mordechai and Esther saving the Jewish people through diplomatic skill, after all God is not mentioned once in the entire…

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The Shabbat of Song

Music speaks to the heart, and, not surprisingly, the heart often speaks through music. Thus, when the Israelites crossed the Sea of Reeds (aka the Red Sea) and witnessed the destruction…

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Serach’s Seranade

When perusing the list of the generations of Jacob found in Genesis 46, one gets a strange sense that there was a powerful genetic predisposition in Jacob's family for male children.…

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The Original Little Red Riding Hood

The story of Dinah, the youngest child of Leah, and Jacob’s only named daughter, is often glossed over when it is first taught.When Jacob was camped outside the city of Shechem, Dinah…

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Monsters In The Family

To much of the American populace, tonight [Halloween] is a night of goblins and ghouls, vampires and witches. These monsters are actually characters found in old myths and fairytales.…

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The Three Mitzvot of Sarah

Jokes about dominant Jewish mothers are abundant and frequent. Perhaps this is because, historically, Jewish mothers have been responsible for building the foundation for passionate…

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Water, Water Everywhere

Sukkot is considered the holiday on which God determines the world’s water allotment for the year to come. During the time of the Temple, the week of Sukkot was highlighted by the…

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What’s in the Book – Zechariah

Like many of the later prophets, the Book of Zechariah has more prophecy than narrative. The first prophecy of Zechariah occurs during the second year of the reign of King Darius…

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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

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In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue

On August 3, 1492, Columbus’ three ships set sail from Spain. But did you know that August 2, 1492, was Tisha b’Av, the Fast of the 9th of Av, and the date by which all Jews were required…

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Post Labor Day Whites

When is it fashionably acceptable to wear white after Labor Day? On Yom Kippur!Many people have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur. In the synagogue you will often see women…

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Water, Water Everywhere

Sukkot is considered the holiday on which God determines the world’s water allotment for the year to come. During the time of the Temple, the week of Sukkot was highlighted by the Water…

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Two Days As One Day

How many days is Rosh Hashana? It seems the simplest of questions, since all around the world, no matter where you may be, Rosh Hashana is celebrated for two days (as opposed to the first…

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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

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The Bride’s Shabbat

One of the greatest mitzvot, and one of the most enjoyable, is that of “Simchat Chatan v’Kallah,” bringing joy to a bride and groom. One way in which this is accomplished is through the…

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Post Labor Day Whites

When is it fashionably acceptable to wear white after Labor Day? On Yom Kippur! Many people have the custom of wearing white on Yom Kippur. In the synagogue you will often see women…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Today, the 28th* of Nisan, Jews around the world are marking Yom Ha’shoah (Officially Yom Ha’zikaron La’shoah V’la’g'vurah, which translates to The Day of Memorial for…

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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 and my maidens will also fast in like manner; and so…

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A Ship’s Tale

Well sit right back and you'll hear a tale...Alas, this ship’s tale is no three-hour tour, but the story of the birth of Jewish life in North America. It is well-known that the first…

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A Chanukah Heroine

Have you ever heard of Yehudit (Judith), the daughter of Yochanan the High Priest, who saved her city, Bethulia, from destruction at the hands of the Syrian-Greek general Holofernes?As…

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In-Law Ties

Until 100 or so years ago, marriage was, on the whole, a practical arrangement that provided stability for property and protection for women. Marriage in the modern world is defined as a…

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The Netziv

At most yeshivot, the primary focus of study is on the Oral Law (as compiled in the Talmud and later legal compendiums), leaving the study of the written Tanach (the five books of…

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Guide to Talmudic Terms

Tonight, tens of thousands of Jews will celebrate completing their study of the Talmud. Some of the celebrants are full-time Torah scholars, others are dentists, mechanics and…

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The Most Important Meal

Across the country, school breakfast programs are offered in order to ensure that students will be properly nourished and capable of putting forth their best efforts during their day of…

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A Fashion Statement

In Numbers 15:38, God commands the Jewish people to “make themselves tzitzit on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations.” Additionally, it is written in Deuteronomy…

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I Got Worries

“Our Rabbis taught: Seven things are hidden from men... the day of death, and the day of comfort, the depth [extent] of judgment; and man does not know what is in his neighbor's heart;…

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Hebrew Union College

In honor of Jewish-American History Month, Jewish Treats presents the history of Hebrew Union College. Bohemian-born Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise (born Weiss, 1819-1900) arrived in the United…

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Jewish Genetics

The fact that one’s genetic code is a combination of the DNA one inherits from both mother and  father is a basic lesson of high school biology. According to traditional Jewish…

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