Celebrating with a Parade

Name a Jewish celebration, that is not a wedding, but includes a chuppah, music and dancing. The answer is a Hachnassat Sefer Torah, literally “Welcoming the Torah Scroll,” the ceremony…

Read More

Yom Ha’atzma’ut – Israel’s Independence Day

On the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, in the year 5708, corresponding to May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was born. On that day, the British Mandate was terminated and David…

Read More

Naphtali, Son of Jacob

After four years of marriage and desperate to have a child, Rachel gave her handmaid, Bilhah, to her husband Jacob to be an additional wife and to bear children in her name. Any children…

Read More

Speedy

Buckle up, look both ways...follow basic safety procedures.The speed skating competition at the 1928 Olympics, held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, ended in a literal “melt down.” During the…

Read More

Is Chanukah Really Eight Days?

Tonight is the eighth night of Chanukah, known as “Zot Chanukah,” a reference to the Torah portion that is read on the eighth day of Chanukah. Chanukah is set apart as an eight-day…

Read More

Seeking Gold

 This week’s confluence of the Olympic Games and Valentine’s Day means many more people than usual will probably have gold on their minds. While gold is not the most expensive…

Read More

Judah, Son of Jacob

When Judah, the fourth son of Leah and Jacob, was born, Leah said, “This time let me gratefully praise God” (based on the Hebrew infinitive, l’hodot, “to praise”). Judah first…

Read More

The Perfect Species

At this time of the year, Jews around the globe head out in search of the perfect lulav and etrog (Lulav refers to the grouping of lulav,…

Read More

Lose The Leather

Once a year, Jews around the world make a unique, and not always attractive, fashion statement by wearing clunky sneakers or fuzzy slippers. (The Talmud records that the sages wore…

Read More

The Challenge of a Cup of Tea

How do you make a cup of tea? Seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? Tea is easy. Simply take a mug, fill it with hot water, and then just add a tea bag. Let the tea steep and remove…

Read More

The Book of Jeremiah

The Book of Jeremiah describes the final 40 years of the Kingdom of Judah. Jeremiah was a reluctant prophet, whose first prophecy came when he was still young, but God said that He would…

Read More

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…

Read More

The Torah’s Special Genetic Code

During Biblical times, our ancestors did not understand genetics, DNA codes, chromosomes and the transmission of physical attributes, as we understand them today. While the sages do note…

Read More

Hail The Accuser

In the era of social media, it is almost an everyday occurrence to be asked to sign a petition or to “like” a cause. When Emile Zola, the celebrated French novelist, published J’Accuse on…

Read More

Vayigash 5772-2011

"Joseph and Judah: A Confrontation for Posterity" by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, we read of the dramatic and powerful confrontation between Judah and Joseph. (For an…

Read More

Vayigash 5781-2020

“Joseph Helps His Brothers Repent” (updated and revised from Vayigash 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald Maimonides writes, at the beginning of the second chapter of the Laws of…

Read More

We’re Not Taking Care of Business

On Shabbat, the Jewish people are commanded: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is Shabbat for the Lord your God; you shall not do any work” (Exodus…

Read More

Seek Out The Positive

An ethical dilemma: A close friend confides in you that he/she recently purchased an expensive, one-of-a-kind, non-returnable item. When he/she shows it to you, you are immediately aware…

Read More

The Foods of Tu B’Shevat

Today, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the new year of the trees. Tu B’Shevat is often celebrated with the 7 species for which the Torah praises the land of Israel: “A…

Read More

The Fast of Esther

Tomorrow, the 13th of Adar, is the Fast of Esther. “Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day; I…

Read More

Shabbat’s Angel Companions

In the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), Rabbi Josi the son of Judah is quoted as saying: On the eve of Shabbat, two ministering angels accompany a person home from the synagogue. One angel…

Read More

The Jewish Major General

Jewish Treats; presents a mini-biography of Major General Julius Klein (1901-1984), who served his country in both World Wars. Born in Chicago, Klein was the descendant of Prussian and…

Read More

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…

Read More

Tzav 5781-2021

"Understanding Shabbat Hagadol" (updated and revised from Tzav 5762-2002) This week, we read the second parasha of the book of Leviticus, parashat Tzav. Because it immediately precedes…

Read More

Searching for Chametz

On Passover, Jews are commanded to get rid of all “chametz” (leaven) which may be in their possession. To confirm the effectiveness of these efforts, a special search for chametz, called…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Yom Ha’atzmaut – Israel’s Independence Day

On the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, in the year 5708, corresponding to May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was born. On that day, the British Mandate was terminated and David…

Read More

The History of the Knesset

The founders of the State of Israel did not have much time to set up and plan the specifics of government. So, it is not surprising that the country emerged from its fight for…

Read More

What Happened in SHUM?

While most people know about the horrors of the Crusades, many do not realize that there were, in fact, many Crusades over a period of four hundred years, and that most of these crusades…

Read More