Picking Up Pigskin

The Jewish dietary laws prohibit Jews from eating any food products derived from animals that do not have both split hooves and chew their cud. It is a not uncommon assumption that Jews…

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The Thanksgiving Synagogue Service

While Thanksgiving is most certainly an American festival of gratitude, its founders prominently articulated its religious underpinnings, which ultimately find their source in Judaism.…

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Vayeitzei 5781-2020

“The Role of Mother Rachel in Jewish History” (updated and revised from Vayeitzei 2000-5761) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Vayeitzei, we encounter Jacob…

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Earthshattering Moments in One of Israel’s Holiest Cities

Tzfat (Safed), the Israeli city in the rolling hills of the Galilee, is known as one of the four holy cities of Israel, along with Tiberias, Hebron and, of course, Jerusalem. It was the…

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Rosh Chodesh

The very first commandment that was given to the entire Jewish nation was the commandment to celebrate the appearance of the new moon. “This month shall be unto you the beginning of…

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An Extraordinary Run

When Harold Maurice Abrahams was born on December 15, 1899, movies were short, silent and black-and-white. It would have been impossible to imagine that this newborn baby boy would one…

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Lighting The Way To Peace

The very last act performed before bringing Shabbat into the home is the lighting of the Shabbat candles. While this mitzvah is considered one of the three primary mitzvot of a Jewish…

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Humiliation Day

Surf the web and you will find that most days on the calendar have been designated as “holidays.” Many of these so-called “holidays” are intended to be cute. Others seek to acknowledge…

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Skeptic Questioning

Yesterday, January 13th, was National Skeptics Day, a day that encourages people to ask questions. One might be inclined to ask whether Judaism has any room for skepticism, since faith,…

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The Baal Shem Tov

Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov (literally Master of the Good Name, often referred to as the BESHT), was born in 1698, in Okop (Ukraine). While there is little record…

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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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Calligraphy

In honor of the upcoming National Handwriting Day, which is January 23, Jewish Treats explores the unique calligraphy practiced by a Jewish sofer (scribe). The Hebrew letters used in a…

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Thoughts for the Heart

February has been designated American Heart Month. For many years, heart disease was considered to be a mostly male affliction. In order to compensate for, and correct, that…

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Yitro 5781-2021

“Structural Secrets of the Decalogue” (updated and revised from Yitro 5762-2002) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald     In this week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, in Exodus 20, we…

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Kosher in Gracie Mansion

Although New York has one of the oldest Jewish communities in the United States (the first Jews arrived in 1654), the first openly Jewish mayor of New York City was not elected until…

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Humble Bee

February 22nd has been declared “Be Humble Day,” a “holiday” that most likely originated from the online greeting card industry. Nevertheless, a day dedicated to the importance of being…

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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 is Yom Rishon, the first day; Monday is Yom Shaynee, the…

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Sisterhood Power

Carrie Obendorfer (1872-1961) knew the power, joy and motivation of organized women. Her mother founded and led the Cincinnati branch of the National Conference of Jewish Women (NCJW). It…

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But Mom, You Promised

Parenting is no easy task. From a very early age, children demand and seek gifts and concessions from their parents. And, particularly in our overly-materialistic society, children want a…

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Tetzaveh 5781-2021

“The Korban Tamid--a Lesson in Consistency” (updated and revised from Tetzaveh 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Tetzaveh, after a lengthy…

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Vayakhel-Pekudei 5781-2021

“The Original Jewish Renewal Movement” (Updated and revised from Vayakhel-Pekudei 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Shabbat, two parashiot, Vayakhel and Pekudei, are read,…

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Singing Praises

“…The prophets of the Jewish people ordained that the Hallel (Psalms of Praise), be recited on special occasions and celebrations [like Yom Tov], and at times of national deliverance from…

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Isru Chag

The day after vacation is often a time of distraction and disorientation. The same is true of the day following a religious holiday, especially after one of the week-long holidays…

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Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day

Yom Ha’shoah, is usually observed each year on the 27th of Nissan which is this Friday. However, this year, it will be commemorated tonight and tomorrow, so as to not conflict with the…

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Israel Memorial Day & Israel Independence Day

Yom Ha'atzmautIsrael Independance Day As the State of Israel marks its birthday on the 5th of Iyar, the world…

Israel’s Memorial Day

The State of Israel’s independence, as well as its continued survival, is a modern day miracle. But, it has come at great cost in human lives to its citizens. Therefore, before Israel…

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The Great Rae Landy

National Nurses Week begins each year, on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. Today, Jewish Treats honors Rae Landy. To Rachel “Rae” Landy, nursing was far more…

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Preparing for the Torah

Shortly after the Israelites encamped at the base of Mount Sinai, they agreed to accept the Torah and do all that God had commanded. And so, God declared that He would bring Himself, in…

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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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Lighting The Way To Peace

The very last act performed before bringing Shabbat into the home is the lighting of the Shabbat candles. While this mitzvah is considered one of the three primary mitzvot of a Jewish…

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