On the 25th of Kislev

It is not uncommon to find that significant events in Jewish history occurred in different years but on the same day on the Jewish calendar. For instance, Tisha B'Av (9th of…

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World Food Day

It is a fundamental Jewish belief that in the era of the Messiah, the world will be transformed into a state of perfection. As stated by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (Rambam, Maimonides - 12th…

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Scapegoat

The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial "scapegoat." When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing Jews…

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What Are Tefillin?

“And you shall bind them [the words that I command you today] for a sign upon your arm, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes... (Deuteronomy 6:8)” The above verse refers to…

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God’s Secret Things

In less than a week, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated. While New Year’s celebrations are nice (the Jewish calendar actually has four of them!), Rosh Hashana’s…

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War In The Torah

The Torah’s protocols of war begin with the following verse: "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, chariots and a nation greater than you..." (Deuteronomy 20).…

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The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Everyone knows about Yom Kippur. There are, however, several other fast days in the Jewish calendar that are not nearly as well known, like the 17th of Tammuz. As mentioned in the…

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Yonah of Geronah

It is a fact of history that students have frequently been at the center of radical movements, often under the influence of a teacher or mentor. This was the case of Rabbi Yonah of…

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Pure Olive Oil

While a large number of Jews today light Chanukah candles, the more traditional custom is to light the Chanukah menorah with olive oil. This is done in order to most accurately recreate…

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Jewish Work in Diabetes

Not so long ago, diabetes was often thought of as a “Jewish disease.”  This was before doctors and scientists understood genetics. The idea of diabetes as a “Jewish disease” also…

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God’s Secret Things

In a less than a week, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, will be celebrated. While New Year’s celebrations are nice (the Jewish calendar actually has four of them!), Rosh Hashana’s…

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Redeeming the Captive

If you’re a fan of swashbuckling historical romance novels, then you’ll know that, for much of history, there was a pretty good chance that people from all walks of life might be taken…

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Holiday Greetings

The standard pre-Rosh Hashana greeting of “K’tiva v’chatima tova” ("May you be written and sealed for good”) is deduced from a Talmudic discussion concerning the three heavenly…

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Pidyon Ha’ben – Redeeming the Firstborn

“You must redeem the firstborn of a person…when he is one month old, for the value of five silver shekels” (Numbers 18:15-16). God sanctified the firstborn male Israelites when He…

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Scapegoat

The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial "scapegoat." When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing Jews…

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Baba Sali – Praying Father

Although it is not uncommon for Jewish sages to be known by a pseudonym, such names are most often either abbreviations of their full names (e.g. RaMBaM, an acronym for Rabbi Moses ben…

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The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Everyone knows about Yom Kippur. There are, however, several other fast days in the Jewish calendar that are not nearly as well known. Tomorrow, on June 25, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz…

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Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement

The Mussar movement, the formal study and program of ethical improvement, was developed in the mid-nineteenth century by Rabbi Israel Salanter (1810-1883). Rabbi Israel’s family name was…

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Waiting For Ice Cream

According to the Talmudic sage Mar Ukva, his father waited an entire day between eating meat and eating dairy in order to avoid transgressing the prohibition of eating milk and meat…

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The Tribe of Asher

As the forefathers of the tribes of Israel, the lives and personalities of each of the twelve sons of Jacob impacted on the history and behavior of the tribe members who descended from…

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The Tribe of Asher

As the forefathers of the tribes of Israel, the lives and personalities of each of the twelve sons of Jacob impacted on the history and behavior of the tribe members who descended from…

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Ethics of the Fathers

Ethics – it’s a big word in our day and age. Between political corruption and financial misdeeds, it is easy to wonder what ever happened to even the most basic ethical standards.…

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The Importance of English Books

In honor of April 23rd, which the United Nations has declared English Language Day, Jewish Treats presents a history of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), the oldest, not-for-profit,…

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Ethics of the Fathers

Ethics - it’s a big word in our day and age. Between political corruption and financial misdeeds, it is easy to wonder what ever happened to even the most basic ethical standards.…

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The Disputation of Paris

The month of June in the year 1240 C.E. was not a good time for the Jews of Europe. The trouble began with a Jewish apostate named Nicholas Donin. Wanting, perhaps, to prove his loyalty…

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Naso 5781-2021

“The Challenge of the Priestly Blessings” (updated and revised from Naso 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Naso, we encounter the very beautiful…

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The Charleston Synagogue(s)

Charleston, South Carolina is home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States. The 1669 charter for the Carolina Colony explicitly included liberty of conscious for…

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