Chag Ha’matzot

The name of the holiday “Passover,” is an allusion to God’s passing over the Israelite households during the plague of the firstborn, a critical element in the events of the Exodus. The…

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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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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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A Historical Overview of Jews in Morocco

Jews have lived in Morocco for thousands of years. Jewish nomadic tribes integrated into all aspects of Moroccan life even before the Mohammedan conquest of Morocco, which occurred in the…

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Five Names of Rosh Hashana

In Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashana has several names that can help us understand the importance and power of this holiday.Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh…

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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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A Woman of Chemistry

If you or someone you love has ever been treated for leukemia, lupus or gout (or a host of other ailments) then you quite likely owe a debt of gratitude to Gertrude Elion (1918-1999), who…

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Who Was Rabbi Akiva?

Akiva ben Yosef was once an ignorant and illiterate shepherd. So poor and downtrodden a figure was Akiva that his extremely wealthy father-in-law disinherited Akiva’s wife, Rachel, for…

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The Torah’s Special Genetic Code

During Biblical times, our ancestors did not understand genetics, DNA codes, chromosomes and the transmission of physical attributes, as we understand them today. While the sages do note…

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The Marquess of Reading

There have been few Jews included among the peerage of the United Kingdom, and only one who was awarded the title of Marquess. Sir Rufus Daniel Isaacs, the Marquess of Reading, was born…

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The Longest 250 Miles: Sadat’s Bold Flight

Imagine America’s foremost enemy addressing a joint session of Congress? You can’t; it’s almost impossible to envision such a scenario actually taking place. But, such a miraculous event…

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Jews in Norway

Jewish history books do not contain many references to the Jews of Norway, because until 1851 it was actually illegal for Jews to settle and live there. Actually, from 1687 until 1814,…

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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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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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The Stolen Child

From the perspective of Jewish history, the story of Edgardo Levi Mortara was a minor event in a long history of Christian persecution. Nevertheless, it had an important impact on world…

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Guilty By Association?

Historic references to David Salisbury Franks (c. 1740-1793) do not mention anti-Semitism. Franks had a far more serious cloud hanging over him--the unfortunate honor of serving as an…

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Vayikra 5781-2021

“The Lesson of the Mincha Offering--Giving with a Full Heart” (updated and revised from Vayikra 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Shabbat, we begin to read the book of…

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West Point

Several years ago, the Jewish news media delightedly reported that Rachelle David was the first female graduate of an Orthodox Jewish high school to be accepted to West Point. It is a…

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Lag Ba’Omer

The period of mourning* (for the 24,000 students of Rabbi Akiva who died of plague) that is associated with Sefirat Ha’Omer, is not observed on the 33rd day of the Omer, a day known as…

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A Look at Honesty

In honor of Honesty Day (created by M. Hirsh Goldberg in the 1990s), Jewish Treats presents some fascinating insights into the Jewish view on the importance of honesty. Much of what…

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For Your Jewish Mother

If one were to believe the jokes, Jewish mothers enjoy nothing more than nagging their children to eat, encouraging grown children to get married and bragging about the children’s…

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Who Was Rabbi Akiva?

Akiva ben Yosef was once an ignorant and illiterate shepherd. So poor and downtrodden a figure was Akiva that his extremely wealthy father-in-law disinherited his own daughter, Rachel,…

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The Battle of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai

At the time of the Declaration of the State of Israel (May 14, 1948), Kibbutz Yad Mordechai was a five year old settlement, ten kilometers south of Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza…

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Making it Transfusable

Today is World Blood Day, and Jewish Treats takes a brief look at the Jewish researchers who made safe blood transfusions possible. In 1901, Karl Landsteiner (June 14, 1868 – June 26,…

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