The Meaning of “Lamed”

Today’s Treat is brought to you by the Hebrew letter lamed and the number 30, as that is its value in gematria (a mystical system of understanding deeper meanings through numeric…

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For Her Protection

Most people look at the world through the perspective of the society in which they were raised. Their views on everything from beauty to manners to equal rights are framed by the history…

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An Unholy Act with the Best Intentions

There are many stories in the Torah that might be deemed “too adult,” and are generally glossed over in Hebrew school. But, like every narrative in the Bible, these stories have…

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Everyone Does the Wave

One of the main mitzvot of the holiday of Sukkot is the waving of the four species: citron (etrog), palm, myrtle and willow. Trying to understand this mitzvah metaphorically, our sages…

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A Teacher Shrouded in Mystery

In 1956, Uruguay received one of its most interesting Jewish immigrants, known to history only as Mr. Chouchani. While he was not a displaced person, by most accounts of those who knew…

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The Jews of Cyprus

The history of the Jews in Cyprus is surprisingly "benign" given the island’s proximity to both Europe and the Holy Land. The third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus was home to…

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How the Hechsher? Is it Kosher?

In addition to enabling the mass production of dry goods, clothing and automobiles, the industrial revolution allowed for the commercial production and distribution of prepared foods.…

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The Tragic Story of Bar Kamtza

According to Jewish tradition, God allowed the Second Temple to be destroyed because of Sinat Chinam, senseless hatred between the people of Israel who were unable to get along with…

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What You Say to the King

Is it okay to malign the leader(s) of the country? In the United States, the concept of freedom of speech allows for a great range of political commentary and criticism. Whether this is…

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The Effect of the Dead

“All life is sacred!” It’s an important statement that is frequently bandied about for political causes. The “Sanctity of life,” however, is a very real and very tangible concept in…

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