K’tav Ivri: Ancient Hebrew Script

Archaeology is one of the major academic attractions of the Land of Israel. One hardly has to scratch the surface of the land to find coins dating back thousands of years. A walk through…

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The Most Popular non-Holiday Event on Jewish Calendars

Tomorrow night is the 24th annual Shabbat Across America and Canada. Jewish Treats is proud to present a history of NJOP’s SHABBAT ACROSS AMERICA AND CANADA. Jewish…

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Potential Energy

Parashat Ki Tavo begins by juxtaposing two important agricultural laws. First (Deuteronomy 26:1-11), the Torah instructs the Israelites to bring bikkurim, the first fruits…

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The Sukkot Hoshanot Service

Walk into a traditional synagogue in the middle of morning services during the week of Sukkot and you might have to take precaution not to be trampled upon by the circle of attendees…

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What Not To Buy

The joyous holiday of Passover is now over. While one’s instinct might be to immediately run out to the supermarket and restock the pantry shelves with bread, snacks and all the desserts…

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Just a Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Parashat Shekalim (shekels). The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read as the Maftir portion after the regular…

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The Four Mitzvot of Purim

This year, Purim will be celebrated on Sunday, March 16th (beginning Saturday evening, March 15th, after sunset). Four mitzvot are associated with the holiday: Megillah Reading - Book of…

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Just A Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Parashat Shekalim (shekels). The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read as the Maftir portion after the regular weekly…

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An Act of True Kindness

Death is one of the unquestionable facts of life. Yet, most people would admit being uncomfortable with the idea of being in a room with a dead body. Seeing a corpse is a “too close”…

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Everyone Does The Wave

One of the main mitzvot of the holiday of Sukkot is the waving of the four species: citron (etrog), palm, myrtle and willow. Trying to understand this mitzvah metaphorically,…

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Chol Hamoed

Most holidays in western society last for a single day, which is often extended into the weekend. And while most people are aware that Chanukah is celebrated for 8 days, many people are…

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Vanity of Vanities

Most people are unknowingly familiar with the third chapter of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) because of the 1962 hit song by The Byrds: "To everything - turn, turn, turn/There is a…

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The Torah’s Thanksgiving

While the majority of the sacrifices enumerated in the Torah are related to atonement for sins or to celebrate feast days, the Sh'lamim, peace offerings, were unique because they…

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Annulment of Vows

"I swear that this time I will lose weight""I am going to pray every day..."We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a…

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The Ba’al Ha’turim

Spain in the Middle Ages was home to scholars of great renown such as Abraham ibn Ezra (1089 - c. 1164), Judah ha-Levi (1086-1145), Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides/Rambam 1135-1204)…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5762-2002

"Shaatnez: Understanding Irrational Decrees" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, this week, we have combined parashiot--Acharei Mot-Kedoshim. The theme of the second parasha,…

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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5781-2021

“Shaatnez: Understanding ‘Irrational’ Decrees” (updated and revised from Acharei Mot-Kedoshim 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Once again, this week, we have double…

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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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The Birth and Death of Moses

One of the 13 principles of faith according to Maimonides is believing that Moses was the greatest of all the Jewish prophets. He was so great, that God feared he would be…

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Just a Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Parashat Shekalim (shekels). The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read as the Maftir portion after the regular…

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Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai

Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (Rashbi), whose yahrtzeit is on Lag Ba’omer, was one the five students who began studying with Rabbi Akiva after the horrible plague that…

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The Bird of Thanks

On Thanksgiving day, it is customary in the United States to eat a turkey dinner. The Hebrew word for turkey is “tar'negol hodu,” literally, an “Indian Rooster.” It came by this…

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The Great Hoshana (Hoshana Rabbah)

Rosh Hashana is known as the Day of Judgment (Yom Hadin), the day on which God judges the world. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the day on which God finalizes His verdict on the…

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The Song of Songs

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine. Because of the fragrance of your goodly oils, your name is ‘oil poured forth.’ Therefore, the maidens…

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Shofar Shorts

The shofar is one of the most recognizable symbols of Rosh Hashana. Although it is preferable that a shofar be fashioned from a ram’s horn, the horn need only come from a kosher animal.*…

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Can You Be The Tenth?

That the Hebrew word “minyan” derives from the infinitive “lim’not,” to count or number, is not at all surprising. A minyan is a quorum of 10, the smallest number necessary to…

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There’s A Key In My Challah

It's a fact that many people spend much time thinking and even worrying about par'nassah (livelihood).Jewish tradition teaches that different seasons have different spiritual…

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It’s A Segulah

A segulah is an action that is reputed to lead to a change in one’s fortunes. For instance, acting as the kvatter (the one who brings the baby into the brit…

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The Four Species

The waving of the four species is one of the most beautiful and symbolic mitzvot of the year.Indeed, there is a special commandment (Leviticus 23:40) that one make a specific effort to…

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The Power of Shabbat

Jewish life ebbs and flows around the celebration of Shabbat. The days of the week are labelled by a count toward Shabbat (Sunday isYom Rishon, the first day; Monday is Yom Shaynee,…

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