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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A Brief History of the Jews of Georgia

Located between Russia and Turkey, at the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia was, until the mid-1800s, a place of relatively little anti-Semitism. According to tradition, Jews first…

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A Wellspring of Technology

If you follow @JewishTweets or are a Facebook follower of Jewish Treats, you may have noticed the disproportionate abundance of technical and medical breakthroughs that occur in the State…

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Telephone, Gramaphone, Helicopter…Emile Berliner

Emile Berliner (May 20, 1851 – August 3, 1929) came to America to avoid being drafted as a soldier in the Franco-Prussian War. A native of Hanover, Germany, Berliner had trained as a…

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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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The First Jewish Museum

According to most internet calendars, yesterday, May 18, 2021, was International Museum Day. This Jewish Treat, therefore provides a brief history of the Jewish Museum of Vienna, which is…

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Cooked Wine

Among the discussions of the many details of Jewish life recorded in the Mishna, the first written compilation of the oral law, is the following: “If a Jewish laborer is hired by a…

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Latrun: Battles for the Hilltop

Today, the hilltop of Latrun, just 15 kilometers west of Jerusalem, is a popular commemorative site that features an armored corps museum. This landmark, which was once the location of a…

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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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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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Flexible Invention

This summer you will probably enjoy a plethora of cold, refreshing drinks and a good number of them will possibly be sipped through a straw while sitting by a pool (Hey, we are allowed to…

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Smashing the Tablets

The sages declare that five tragedies occurred on the Seventeenth of Tammuz, (Sunday, June 27) which is why the day is observed as a fast day. Days of what we might now call “bad karma”…

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Magen David Adom

The opportunity to save a life (hatzalat nefashot) is one of those unique events that may never occur in a person’s lifetime. Today, Jewish Treats salutes those who often risk life and…

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Virginia is for Lovers…of Israel

While cities like Charleston, Philadelphia and New York contained Jewish communities during the pre-revolutionary period, Virginia, the largest of the colonies, did not. Individual Jews…

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Belarus, China, Jerusalem and Brooklyn: The Odyssey of the World’s Largest Yeshiva

For 125 years, from 1814 until 1939, the Mir Yeshiva served as a beacon of elite Torah study on the European continent. Situated in the small town of Mir in Belarus, the yeshiva was…

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Midwestern Sour Cream

There are a host of Jewish foods that are associated with the American Jewish experience. Most of these, such as blintzes with sour cream, sour cream and bananas, and (of course)…

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Changing Ukraine

Kiev, Odessa, Zhitomyr, Uman…these cities in Ukraine are places marked in Jewish history for both horror and hope. Jews have lived in Ukraine for well-over a thousand years, and there is…

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Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah

Tonight, starts the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, literally the Gathering of the Eighth, a connected, yet independent holiday, that immediately follows Sukkot. During the seven days of…

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Holiday Workshops on Zoom

Holiday Workshops with Rabbi BuchwaldGet ready for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot with three exciting Zoom workshops, led…

Can I Return It?

Every legal system, including halacha (Jewish law), has its letter of the law, its spirit of the law, and the gray areas in-between. Commercial dealings are one area of life in which…

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Connecting the Words

Jewish Treats looks at a renowned Jewish dictionary that has served scholars and students since the turn of the 20th century. A Dictionary of Targumim, Talmud Bavli, Talmud Yerushalmi and…

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Name Change

It is not a coincidence that cultures around the world share a belief in the power of given names. In Judaism, it is believed that parents are granted a flash of ruach hakodesh, Divine…

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