Rejoicing For The World

Among the unique rituals performed on the holiday of Sukkot were the additional offerings that were sacrificed in the ancient Temple. On the first day of the holiday, 13 young bulls were…

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If You Bring Me Flowers

Miss Manners might tell you that it is appropriate to bring flowers as a thank you gift when invited to someone else's house for a meal. A simple bouquet does make a lovely present - but…

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B’shalach 5781-2021

“G-d: The Source of Sweetness” (updated and revised from B’shalach 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach, immediately after the splitting of…

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Making it Kosher

If you have ever researched how to make a kitchen kosher, you might have noticed a lot of references to blowtorches and boiling water. Many items in a kitchen can be made kosher, even if…

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Metzorah 5760-2000

"The Ultimate Value and Sanctity of Human Life in Judaism" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This coming week's parasha, parashat Metzorah, is often combined with last week's parasha, parashat…

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Tazria-Metzorah 5772-2012

“The Essential Ingredient for Repentance and Prayer--Humility” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Metzorah, the second of this week’s double parashiot, Tazria-Metzorah, we read of…

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Matot 5774-2014

“Hakarat HaTov: Expressing Appreciation” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Matot, we read of G-d’s command to Moses to avenge the Children of Israel against…

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Chayei Sara 5763-2002

"The Torah's Recipe for Finding a Proper Mate" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald One of the growing issues confronting contemporary American and world Jewry is the challenge of finding proper…

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Kee Tisah 5764-2004

"Limitless Leadership" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read of the fateful sin of the people of Israel with the Golden Calf. While the…

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Chukat 5765-2005

"Moses gets Battered by the Commentaries" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the sin of May Meriva, Waters of Rebellion, where both…

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The Sadducee King Yannai

Alexander Jannaeus (Yannai or Y’honatan in Hebrew) served as the second Hasmonean king of Judea from 103 BCE until his death in 76 BCE. The third son of John Hyrcanus, he succeeded his…

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Thoughts on Shevat

Although the Torah implies that Abraham and his descendants are removed from the fate of the stars (based on Genesis 15:5, Nedarim 32a) - meaning that their personal destinies are not…

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In Flows Shevat

Despite what one might expect, Jewish tradition does not dismiss the signs of the zodiac (Click here for a Treat on Jewish Months and the Zodiac). In fact, it is quite interesting to see…

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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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Fences

The Bible commands the owner of a home with a flat roof to put up a ma’akeh - a fence - around the roof, so that blood will not be on the owner’s hands (Deuteronomy…

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Chanukah: What’s the Mitzvah

Here's a quiz:What is the primary mitzvah of Chanukah? a) Eating latkes (potato pancakes)b) Giving Chanukah gifts or gelt (money)c) Publicizing the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 daysd)…

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Chanukah: What’s the Mitzvah

Here's a quiz:What is the primary mitzvah of Chanukah? a) Eating latkes (potato pancakes)b) Giving Chanukah gifts or gelt (money)c) Publicizing the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 daysd)…

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Toledot 5770-2009

"The Jew Under the Microscope" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Toledot, the Torah tells us that, once again, there was a famine in the land of Canaan, aside…

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Kee Teitzei 5765-2005

"The Revolution that Started with a Fence" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald The extraordinary number of themes that are found in parashat Kee Teizei make it seem as if the Torah, with only…

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Shemot 5765-2004

"In the Merit of Miriam" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's parasha, parashat Shemot, we learn of the oppression of the Israelites at the hands of the Egyptians, as well…

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Toledot 5781-2020

“The Ancient Origins and Practice of Anti-Semitism” (updated and revised from Toledot 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Toledot, we learn that…

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The Great Bird Ziz

In honor of National Bird Day, Jewish Treats would like to introduce one of the great creatures of Jewish legend, the Ziz. Whereas the term Leviathan (the giant primordial fish) has…

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No Need To Compare

Studies in comparative religion focus on the similarities of different religions. It is fascinating to note the way religions overlap. For instance, the dietary laws of Jews and Muslims…

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Setting The Seder Table

Before beginning the Seder, it is important to make certain that everything necessary is available. No Seder table is complete without the following: 1) Three Unbroken Matzot (Kosher for…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5770-2010

"Loving Thy Neighbor" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In parashat Kedoshim, the second of this week's double parashiot -- Acharei Mot-Kedoshim, we read the famous, indeed, revolutionary…

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Va’eira 5771-2011

"Messages from the Nile" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’eira, we read of the first seven plagues that strike the Egyptians. The first two plagues, blood…

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Naso 5775-2015

“The Fine Nuances of Jealousy” by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Naso, includes the very challenging portion about the Sotah, the woman who is suspected of being…

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Shemot 5777-2017

"From Whence Shall Come My Salvation?” by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, is the opening portion of the book of Exodus, also known as Sefer Shemot, the second…

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Vayeira 5779-2018

“The Tension Between Human Love and Divine Will”   by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeira, we find two important stories that reflect on the…

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Setting the Seder Table

Before beginning the Seder, it is important to make certain that everything necessary is available. No Seder table is complete without the following: 1) Three Unbroken Matzot (Kosher for…

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