Settling Texas

On December 29, 1845, the sovereign nation known as the Republic of Texas became the 28th state of the United States of America. In the ten years of Texas’ independence before becoming a…

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Whose First Fruits

When the Oral Law was first codified, most Jews lived in agrarian settings. Today, being less familiar with agrarian culture, some people find it difficult to relate to some of the…

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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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The Inquisitive Mind

There’s an old joke that a Jew always answers a question with a question. While this could be a source for that fun “only questions” game from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” it says something…

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Flag of Israel

The Israeli flag was specifically designed with stripes to recall the image of a tallit - the Jewish prayer shawl. Its top and bottom blue stripes are reminiscent of the sky and…

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The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which is famous for its month-long resistance struggle in April/May of 1943, actually began with an initial uprising on January 18, 1943, which corresponded…

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Speedy

Buckle up, look both ways...follow basic safety procedures.The speed skating competition at the 1928 Olympics, held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, ended in a literal “melt down.” During the…

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Uprising at Auschwitz

January 27th, which has been designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, was the day on which Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago. The Auschwitz-Birkenau complex was a place of…

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The Food of Yom Kippur

Food on Yom Kippur? Isn’t Yom Kippur the most famous fast day on the Jewish calendar? "One who eats and drinks on the ninth, is considered by the Torah to have fasted on both the ninth…

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We’re Not Taking Care of Business

On Shabbat, the Jewish people are commanded: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is Shabbat for the Lord your God; you shall not do any work” (Exodus…

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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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The Foods of Tu B’Shevat

Today, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the new year of the trees. Tu B’Shevat is often celebrated with the 7 species for which the Torah praises the land of Israel: “A…

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On Top of Mount…

Without question, Mount Sinai is the best known mountain in the Bible. In the days before highways, street signs or GPS, geographic landmarks played an important role in people’s lives.…

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Does God Experience Difficulty?

In the middle of parashat B’shalach, we encounter the great miracle of God splitting the Red Sea. The sages in the Talmud (Sotah 2a) used this great supernatural phenomenon to declare…

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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…

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The First Ten

If the children of Israel received the Torah at Mount Sinai, why did Moses come down bearing only “two tablets of testimony” luchot ha’aidoot (Exodus 32:15), on which the Ten Commandments…

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Curly-Headed White Chief with One Tongue

On May 30, 1854, President Franklin Pierce signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which officially defined the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and opened up a significant part of what became…

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Oh My Achin’ Tooth

On some lists of quaint holidays celebrated in the month of February, today is marked as National Toothache Day. Anyone who has ever suffered the trauma of an aching tooth may wonder why…

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Medals of Honor

All soldiers must be brave, but some go above and beyond their duty and give their lives so that others my live. In honor of Memorial Day, Jewish Treats introduces two brave young…

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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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Weights and Measures

The last century has seen the rise, fall and transformation of several major economic-political philosophies (socialism, communism, capitalism). The primary economic philosophy of the…

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Parasha of “The Month”

This Shabbat is Parashat HaChodesh, the Sabbath of “The Month.” The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional Torah reading) after the conclusion of the reading of the regular…

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Waiting For Ice Cream

According to the Talmudic sage Mar Ukva, his father waited an entire day between eating meat and eating dairy in order to avoid transgressing the prohibition of eating milk and meat…

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Vayigash 5772-2011

"Joseph and Judah: A Confrontation for Posterity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, we read of the dramatic and powerful confrontation between Judah and Joseph. (For an…

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Vayigash 5781-2020

“Joseph Helps His Brothers Repent” (updated and revised from Vayigash 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Maimonides writes, at the beginning of the second chapter of the Laws of…

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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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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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Countdown To Freedom

Americans begin preparing for Thanksgiving, days or perhaps a week in advance. But, when it comes to Jews and Passover, much more preparation time is needed. Jewish tradition teaches that…

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Passover Story in Brief

On Passover, we commemorate the exodus from Egyptian slavery. The following is a brief summary: Jacob’s family came to Egypt to escape a famine in Canaan. Joseph, Jacob’s son and the…

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Seven Days to the Sea

The Passover celebration lasts seven days (eight days, outside of Israel). The first day (and second, outside of Israel) is a Yom Tov, festival day, on which the seder is celebrated.…

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