The Missing Hero

According to a hand written document shared by the Soviet Union in 1957, Raoul Wallenberg died of heart problems in his cell on July 17, 1947. By the time the document was released, both…

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Surviving and Leading

Although born in Hungary in 1904, Rabbi Yehoshua (Joshua) Menachem Ehrenberg was living in Cracow when the Nazis began their systematic destruction of European Jewry. The city of Cracow,…

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A Poet from the Ashes

"There is nothing in the world for which a poet will give up writing, not even when he is a Jew and the language of his poems is German." One can only imagine the great burden Paul Celan…

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Writers in a Terrible Place

“The Day of the Imprisoned Writer” (November 15) was established by PEN International to recognize and provide support for writers who use their skills to fight political repression.…

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Shemot 5770-2010

"In Those Days, In These Times" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This message may be a little late, but there seem to be strong parallels between the story of the enslavement of the Jews in…

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Writers in a Terrible Place

“The Day of the Imprisoned Writer” (November 15th) was established by PEN International to recognize and provide support for writers who use their skills to fight political repression.…

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Surviving and Leading

Although born in Hungary in 1904, Rabbi Yehoshua (Joshua) Menachem Ehrenberg was living in Krakow when the Nazis began their systematic destruction of European Jewry. The city of Krakow,…

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Emor 5772-2012

"Lessons from a Priest’s Wanton Daughter" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Emor, highlights the special status of the Kohanim, the priests, in the community of…

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Sources Commentators

Abarbanel (1437-1508, Spanish statesman, philosopher and commentator) Achad Ha’Am (Asher Zvi Hirsh Ginsberg, 1856-1927) AJOP (Association for Jewish Outreach Programs) Akeidat Yitzchak…

The Iron Curtain

On March 5, 1946, barely one year after the end of World War II, recently-defeated British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, delivered a speech entitled, “Sinews of Peace” at…

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Shelach 5771-2011

"Challah–-All Possessions Are From the L-rd" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The primary narrative of this week’s parasha, parashat Shelach, concerns the episode of the scouts (spies) who…

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Bo 5772-2012

"The Plague of Darkness" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we learn of the eighth, ninth and tenth of the ten plagues--locusts, darkness and the death of…

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Jews in the Land of Lincoln

The first known Jewish resident of what is now the state of Illinois was John Hays, a grandson of a New York Jew, who moved west to Cahokia in 1793. Hays was a farmer and trader, who, in…

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Fyvush

There are certain entertainers who are known by their first name, such as Matisyahu, Madonna, Cher, Eminem etc. Others are known by their first name, despite widespread knowledge of their…

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Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik

Few personalities have done as much to define the Modern Orthodox Jewish community as Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik (1903-1993). Not only did “the Rav,” as he is referred to reverently by…

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The Sixth Rebbe

Today, the 10th of Shevat, is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, who is also referred to as the Rayatz (an acronym of his name). Far…

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Math and Science

Born in Bialystock on March 31, 1810, Hayyim Selig Slonimski completed writing his first textbook on mathematics when he was only 24 years old. Alas, finances were so tight that the young…

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Yente the Yiddish Writer

Yiddish literature entered its modern era in the 1860s, when Jewish writers began using the Germanic Jewish language to compose stories and poems. Many of the early writers of this era…

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Conquering the Desert

One of the great miracles of the State of Israel has been its ability to transform desert into blooming arable land. In 1867 Mark Twain described the land in one of his memoirs: “The…

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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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Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik

Few personalities have done as much to define the Modern Orthodox Jewish community as Rabbi Joseph Ber Soleveitchik (1903-1993). Not only did “the Rav,” as he is referred to reverently by…

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Jiri Mordecai

In celebration of National Poetry Month: One could easily say that the life of  Jiri Mordecai Langer (1894-1943) was lived between the two World Wars. Born in Prague to an…

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The Hopeful Doctor- Doktoro Esperanto

Chu vi sciis, ke la iniciatoro de Esperanto estas judo? Don’t worry, your daily Jewish Treats hasn’t switched languages. Did you know that the initiator of Esperanto was Jewish? Perhaps,…

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Yente the Yiddish Writer

Yiddish literature entered its modern era in the 1860s, when Jewish writers began using the Germanic-Jewish language to compose stories and poems. Many of the early writers of this era…

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Connecting the Words

In honor of “Dictionary Day,” Jewish Treats looks at a renowned Jewish dictionary that has served scholars and students since the turn of the 20th century. A Dictionary of Targumim,…

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Connecting the Words

In honor of “Dictionary Day,” Jewish Treats looks at a renowned Jewish dictionary that has served scholars and students since the turn of the 20th century.  A Dictionary of Targumim,…

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Vayigash 5762-2001

"The Virtues of Assimilation" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Vayigash, the dramatic story of Joseph and his brothers comes to a rousing conclusion.…

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Shemot 5773-2012

“The Role of Exile in Jewish History” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, the book of Exodus opens with the story of the people of Israel’s enslavement…

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The Maharal of Prague

To the Jewish community and general population at large, the Maharal of Prague is the revered, mystical medieval rabbi who created the Golem to protect the Jews in the Prague ghetto. But…

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The Girl in the Red Coat

Except for one girl's red coat depicted in a scene taking place in the Krakow Ghetto, and the opening and closing scenes in Steven Spielberg’s 1994 Academy Award winning “Schindler’s…

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