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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The Harm of Gluttony

For most people, exploring the delightful flavors of the many foods of the world is one of life’s simple but great pleasures. As long as one gives thanks for the food and makes certain…

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Talk to the Expert

One of the greatest dangers of the age of the internet is the abuse of medical information by lay people with no medical training, who suspect that they may be ill. Whether it is a…

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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…

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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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Harem Power

The place: Istanbul/Constantinople.  The Time: The Sixteenth Century                        In the sixteenth century, the…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

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The Five Prohibitions of Yom Kippur

"...on the tenth of the month, you shall afflict your souls and do no work at all...for on that day God will forgive you and cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before…

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