“He Was the Best Man We Had”

(Quote by David Ben Gurion) In early 1948, knowing that the untrained and disorganized Jewish  fighting forces could not withstand a true battle for the Promised Land, David Ben…

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The First Inquisited

Although it was not the first Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition* was unique from its very inception on November 1, 1478, because it was controlled by the monarchy rather than the…

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Using A Live Virus

Mention the polio vaccine and most people think of Jonas Salk. The fact is, however, that the polio vaccine used today is actually based on the work of another Jewish physician, Albert…

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Can I Return It?

Every legal system, including halacha (Jewish law), has its letter of the law, its spirit of the law, and the gray areas in-between. Commercial dealings are one area of life in which…

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Almost Consul to Jerusalem

Can you name the first man appointed U.S. Consul to Jerusalem? In 1844, Warder Cresson was appointed, but never served, as the appointment was revoked while he was en route. Cresson’s…

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The Company You Keep

Immediately following the morning blessings, there is a short prayer that asks God for protection from “arrogant people and arrogance itself, from a bad person, a bad companion, a bad…

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It Was An Accident

A man loses control of his car when his tire is punctured by a nail and blows out. Trying to regain control, he swerves and hits a pedestrian, who dies instantly. Is the driver of the car…

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A Twentieth Century Jewish Poet

In honor of National Poetry Month, Jewish Treats presents a brief biography of Muriel Rukeyser (December 1913-February 1980). Born and raised in New York City, Rukeyser attended Vassar…

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The First Inquisition

Although it was not the first Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisition* was unique from its very inception on November 1, 1478, because it was controlled by the monarchy rather than the…

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Chayei Sarah 5776-2015

"The Legacy of Ishmael" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Chayei Sarah, opens with the death and burial of the matriarch, Sarah, at age 127, and closes with the…

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Vayechi 5776-2015

“Jacob Maintains a Bitter Grudge Against Simeon and Levi” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayechi, Jacob blesses his twelve sons prior to his death. Even…

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Devarim 5778-2018

“The Final Rebuke"   With this week’s parasha, parashat Devarim, we begin to read the fifth and final book of the Torah. The book of Deuteronomy is known in rabbinic literature as…

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Shabbat Prayers

Learn AboutShabbat Prayers Table of Contents Morning Blessings (Birkhot Hashachar) Verses of Praise (Pesukei Dezimrah)…

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av The saddest day in the Jewish calendar, believed to be a day which is destined for tragedy.  Guide…

Bechukotai 5771-2011

"Peace--The Greatest of All Blessings" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Bechukotai, is one of two parashiot that include the Tochachah, G-d’s reproof of the Jewish…

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Behar-Bechukotai 5775-2015

“The Odd Conclusion to the Book of Leviticus” By Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Bechukotai, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Behar-Bechukotai, we find two major themes,…

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Naso 5776-2016

“Reflections on the Meaning of Peace" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, includes the well-known “Priestly Blessings,” the brief but beautiful, threefold…

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THIS is Chanukah

Tonight is the eighth and final night of Chanukah. After the flames die down, many people will pack up the menorah and think little of the holiday again until next year. However, the…

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Celebrating with a Parade

Name a Jewish celebration that is not a wedding that includes a chuppah, music and dancing. The answer is a Hachnassat Sefer Torah, literally “Welcoming the Torah Scroll,” the ceremony of…

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When Will The End Come

"I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah; and even though he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait each day for his coming." - Prosaic formula of the 13 Principles of Faith…

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Celebrating with a Parade

Name a Jewish celebration, that is not a wedding, but includes a chuppah, music and dancing. The answer is a Hachnassat Sefer Torah, literally “Welcoming the Torah Scroll,” the ceremony…

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech 5763-2003

"Choosing Life" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald There's something very distinctive about the arrival of the Jewish New Year. Whenever the Jewish High Holiday season draws near there's always…

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Eikev 5761-2001

"The Intermarriage Conundrum" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week's parasha, parashat Eikev, conclude the theme that was the focus of the final part of last…

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Shelach 5774-2014

“Do Not Follow After the Desires of Your Heart and Eyes” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald While the major theme of parashat Shelach concerns the scouts who return from the Land of Israel with…

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Kee Tavo 5775-2015

“Making The Final Commitment” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, Moses continues to deliver his final message to the Jewish people. Shortly before…

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Emor 5778-2018

“The Great Moses Seems Not to Know the Answer” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Emor, we encounter the episode of the מְגַדֵּף, megadef, the blasphemer, which…

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Bo 5780-2020

“Rational Love and Emotional Love: A Lesson from Tefillin” (revised and updated from Bo 5760-2000)   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Bo, we read about…

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Eikev 5780-2020

“The Intermarriage Conundrum” (updated and edited from parashat Eikev 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The opening verses of this week’s parasha, parashat Eikev, conclude the…

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History of the State Since 1948

History of the StateSince 1948 Table of Contents the war of independence population shifts 1956- the sinai campaign 1967 –…

Vayishlach 5781-2020

“The Proper and Improper use of Zealotry” (updated and revised from Vayishlach 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayishlach, we encounter in…

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