Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

The term “ghetto” has a sad connotation in Jewish history and a very negative association when referring to certain poor urban areas. The term’s etymology, however, originates from a…

Read More

The Songs of the Ibn Ezra

The joy of Shabbat is expressed in many ways throughout the “Day of Rest.” For those of a musical bent (and even for those not so musically inclined), one of the joys of the Shabbat meals…

Read More

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…

Read More

Uprising At Treblinka

The heinous plans of the Nazis seemed too horrible to be credible. Who could imagine “civilized” men conceiving of Operation Reinhard, a plan to oversee the building of Belzec, Sobibor…

Read More

Adding Candles

Lighting Shabbat candles is an essential element of Shabbat. The Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) states that two candles are used to fulfill the mitzvah in order to…

Read More

Terrific Trees

In honor of the New Year of Trees (Tu B'Shevat), Jewish Treats presents some thoughts on trees and nature as found in the Bible. 1) In the second chapter of Genesis, humankind…

Read More

A Shabbat Addition

Feasting on Shabbat is one of the primary ways in which Jews observe the commandment to remember (zachor) the Sabbath day. With a special meal on Friday night, another for Shabbat lunch…

Read More

Women of Vision

Our sages teach that there were seven women famed for their prophecy. (Talmud Megilla 14a states that only prophecies with a message for the future were recorded. In reality,…

Read More

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…

Read More

Terrific Trees

In honor of the New Year of Trees (Tu B'Shevat), Jewish Treats presents some thoughts on trees and nature as found in the Bible.1) In the second chapter of Genesis, humankind is…

Read More

The Jews of Bucharest

The history of the Jews of Europe is a narrative of highs, when communities flourished, and terrible lows, when anti-Semitism turned life into a harrowing nightmare. Each region has its…

Read More

Shabbat in the Spring

As spring takes hold of the northern hemisphere, and the hours between sunrise and sunset lengthen, people often spend the long Shabbat afternoon enjoying the outdoors. Even as one soaks…

Read More

What They Saw First

Ohrdurf Concentration Camp, located near Gotha, Germany, was a subcamp of Buchenwald. Its history was short and brutal, having only begun operation in November 1944. Indeed, other than…

Read More

One’s Own Life

There is nothing more sacred in Jewish law than human life. According to halacha, one must guard one’s life in all cases unless one is forced to commit murder, worship idols or partake in…

Read More

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…

Read More

Our Cherubs

This time of year, late January, the fat little cupids that line the store aisles are frequently referred to as cherubs. There is, most certainly, a fascinating history as to how a Roman…

Read More

It’s Electric

In the early 1900s, rabbinic authorities had to determine exactly what electricity was from a halachic (Jewish legal) perspective. The first uses of electricity were, of course,…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Foundation Commandment

“I am the Lord your God.” These are the opening words of the first of the Ten Commandments. While these words do seem strange as a “commandment,” they are, in fact, the foundation of all…

Read More

Terrific Trees

In honor of the New Year of Trees (Tu B'Shevat), Jewish Treats presents some thoughts on trees and nature as found in the Bible. 1) In the second chapter of Genesis, humankind…

Read More

Can Jews Be Part Of “No Beard Day”?

Today is National No Beard Day. The Torah states in Leviticus 19:27: "Do not cut the hair on the corners of your head; Do not cut the corners of your beard." This is one of the rare…

Read More

Shabbat Day Songs

Zmirot are the songs that celebrate the holiness and beauty of Shabbat. There are designated zmirot for each of the three Shabbat meals, and even post-Shabbat zmirot. Two of the most…

Read More

Shabbat Elevator

In the days when the Talmud was compiled (and certainly in the times of Moses), there were no high rise apartment buildings. Families lived on farms or in small villages, and those who…

Read More

Excuse Me, Is It Possible…

“Don’t be chutzpadik” is the modern Hebrew equivalent of the classic American parenting admonition: “Don’t be fresh!” and “Don’t talk back!” The challenges of parenting have always…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Shabbat Limit

Nothing is more enjoyable on a Shabbat afternoon than a leisurely stroll with friends and family. Certainly those who are Shomer Shabbat (Sabbath observant) and attend synagogue spend a…

Read More

Can’t Move That

Guarding Shabbat is a Biblical commandment that requires a fair bit of knowledge to perform correctly. The act of guarding Shabbat requires that a person refrain from all creative works…

Read More

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…

Read More

Hebron Purim

Jewish Treats presents to you another local Purim, a day on which one small community commemorates a particularly life-saving event. Purim Hebron, also known as "Window Purim." Sadly, the…

Read More

Honoring 9/11

Today is anniversary of the devastating attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. There are stories to be told of heroes, men like Abraham Zelmanowitz who stayed with a…

Read More