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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Lord George Gordon

    As few members of the British aristocracy have converted to Judaism, the conversion of Lord George Gordon* (1751 - 1793) was a matter of note in British society.…

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Read Hebrew America Classes on Zoom

Read Hebrew America Classes on ZoomJoin NJOP for three great Hebrew classes on Zoom! Forward to a friend…

Shemot 5781-2021

“The Not-So-Obvious Process of Hebrew Enslavement” (revised and updated from parashat Shemot 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   In this week’s parasha, parashat Shemot, we…

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Jewish Treats

Jewish Treats New blog posts each weekday sharing interesting and enjoyable observations about Judaism, called “Juicy Bits of…

Rabbi Judah The Pious

Unlike so many stories one hears about famous scholars (which usually reflect on their childhood brilliance), the tales regarding Rabbi Judah Hachasid (the Pious) describe him as a…

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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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Yitro 5780-2020

“Can the Torah Forbid Feelings that are Part of Normal Human Emotions?” (Updated and revised from Yitro 5761-2001) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Yitro, is one…

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Purim Again

Unique to the Jewish calendar, Purim is actually observed on different days depending on location. The majority of the Jewish people celebrate Purim on the 14th of Adar (today). However,…

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More Than Shabbat

Ahad Ha’am (Asher Ginsberg, poet and Zionist ideologue: 1856-1927) is quoted as saying, “More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” This statement is part of the key to…

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They Make us Laugh

When the hit comedy Funny People was released in movie theaters in 2009, it was frequently noted in the Jewish press that almost all of the comic actors in the film, including the…

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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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Tazria-Metzorah 5781-2021

“Circumcision and Shabbat” (updated and revised from Tazria-Metzorah 5764-2004) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In order to properly coordinate the weekly Torah readings with the Hebrew…

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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…

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…

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A Place For the Artists

Marcel Janco, who passed away on April 21, 1984, is best known as one of the founders of the Dada movement, an avant-garde art movement of the early twentieth century that rejected…

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The Second Passover

On the first anniversary of the Exodus from Egypt, the Children of Israel prepared to celebrate their first Passover as free people. God decreed that they should eat matzah and maror…

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Happy Birthday Birkat Hamazon

The Torah (Exodus 16:1) reports that the Children of Israel arrived at the Wilderness of Sin on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, approximately one month after the exodus from Egypt.…

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Berlin’s Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary

On May 11, 1820, a child was born in Prussia who would, as a grown man, almost single-handedly change the face of German Jewry. Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer attended yeshiva in Hanover, and…

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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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An Interesting Philologist

Language is considered to be one of the unique characteristics of humankind. Lazarus (Eliezer Solomon) Geiger believed that there was a great deal to learn about humanity from studying…

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You Say It’s Your Birthday

January, March, June or November (or any of the other months not listed). Nope, that’s not the birthday about which we are writing. Jewish Treats wants to know: Do you know your Hebrew…

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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 his own daughter, Rachel,…

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The Might of the Pen

The fact that today is “National Ballpoint Pen Day” offers Jewish Treats the opportunity to introduce László Bíró, the Hungarian-Jewish inventor of the now ubiquitous ballpoint writing…

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It’s Not About The Status

In many, if not most, Jewish parables, the righteous and scholarly are often presented as living in a state of poverty. Indeed, it might often seem as if poverty is an attribute of…

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World Sauntering Day

In Jewish life there is great admiration for a character trait known as z’reezut, which is often translated as zealousness. The word z’reezut actually comes from the root…

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Chukat 5781-2021

“The Paradox of the Red Heifer” (updated and revised from Chukat-Balak 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Chukat, we learn of the inscrutable law of…

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