Gleaning Supermarket Aisles

It is nearly time for Thanksgiving, and throughout the United States communities are putting up posters for holiday food drives. Giving food to the poor is certainly one of the oldest…

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Vayishlach 5767-2006

"The Lonely Patriarch" by Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Vayishlach, the memorable confrontation between Jacob and Esau takes place, a confrontation that is…

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Shelach 5769-2009

"Long-Term Consequences" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week's parasha, parashat Shelach, we are told of the twelve scouts who were sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan in…

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Korach 5762-2002

"The Origin of the Big Lie" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this coming week's Torah portion, parashat Korach, we read of Korach and his rebellion against G-d, Moses and Aaron. Although…

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Kee Tavo 5770-2010

"Secret Transgressions" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tavo, we once again encounter the Tochacha, G-d’s reproval of the Jewish people. The Tochacha…

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Seven Days to the Sea

The Passover celebration lasts seven days (eight days, outside of Israel). The first day (and second, outside of Israel) is a Yom Tov, festival day, on which the seder is celebrated.…

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Bread and Clothing

Until recently, the repercussions of converting to Judaism meant more than just renouncing one’s previous religious beliefs. More often than not, a person who converted to Judaism also…

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Should Old Acquaintances Be Forgot?

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” This question is posed by the classic New Year’s Eve song Auld Lang Syne. The song originated in Scotland…

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King David’s Day

According to tradition, King David was born and died on Shavuot. To try and summarize the life of King David in a 300 word Treat would be impossible. In the annals of Jewish history,…

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Words of Protest

Today is the World Day of Social Justice, a perfect topic for Jewish Treats, as Jewish law often addresses issues of social justice. There are halachot (laws) that dictate giving tzedakah…

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Lag Ba’Omer

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

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Cheer Up The Lonely

The most frequently cited reason for the destruction of the Second Temple is Sin'at Chinam, best translated as senseless hatred. The in-fighting among the Jews of Judea, not only weakened…

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What’s Yiddish for Radio?

World Radio Day (February 13) was created by UNESCO in order to honor the incredible and diverse contribution radio has made to the world. Not only has radio broadcasting allowed for the…

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An Organizer of Women

The fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on March 25, 1911, in which 146 workers died, was a major turning point in labor organization in the United States. The terrible tragedy…

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A Community Revealed

In 1492, four families in Belmonte, Portugal began to live secret lives that would last for generations. Like many Jews on the Iberian Peninsula, in response to the Inquisition, which…

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Who Was Mordechai?

There are some people in this world who always seem to be right in the thick of the action. As described in the Book of Esther, this was Mordechai. It is Mordechai’s niece who is chosen…

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Writing a Law For Freedom

Thomas Jefferson is renowned for being the author of the Declaration of Independence. But, this was only one of Jefferson’s many, many accomplishments. It is interesting to note that, per…

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Midnight

A day is divided into 24 equal units of time (hours). Different cultures, however, define the beginning (and end) of a day differently. For instance, while a day on the Gregorian calendar…

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Thou Shalt Not Steal A Person

The Eighth Commandment, lo tignohv, do not steal, appears to be an obvious law. Every civil code prohibits theft. However, in both syntax and placement, the Eighth Commandment appears to…

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His Wife Saved His Life

Ohn the son of Pelet was a Reubenite who fell under the sway of a rebellious Levite named Korach. Korach felt that a great injustice had been perpetrated in Aaron’s appointment to the…

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Seven Days to the Sea

The Passover celebration lasts seven days (eight days, outside of Israel. For more information as to why, please click here). The first day (and second, outside of Israel) is a Yom…

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All I Need Is A Miracle

Are you an adrenaline junkie? Know someone who is? An adrenaline junkie, for those who are not in the know, are those people who love the rush of danger, who seek out thrilling, often…

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An American Treat

In honor of Presidents’ Day, Jewish Treats presents a brief summary of how George Washington and Abraham Lincoln interacted with, and impacted on, the Jewish community. There are no…

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Purim Katan

In a Jewish leap year, a second month of Adar is added to the Jewish calendar, creating Adar I and Adar II. The question that arises is, in which Adar does one celebrate the important…

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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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Avinu Malkeinu

No prayer so thoroughly captures the Jewish people’s dual relationship with God as Avinu Malkeinu, "Our Father, Our King." The exact formulation of this prayer is based on a…

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Seeking God in Elul

Psalm 27 is read twice daily from the beginning of the month of Elul through the holiday of Sukkot in order to help each Jew develop a beautiful relationship with the Divine. “One thing…

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Tu B’Av and the Offering of Wood

Tu B'Av, the fifteenth of Av, was celebrated in ancient times by unmarried maidens who went out on this day to dance in the vineyards hoping to be chosen by an unmarried youth to be…

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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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The 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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