A Turn in History

While many people know that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, a fair number would struggle to tell you why the day is significant. On May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army was unexpectedly…

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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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Thank You Nurses

Today, May 12th, is International Nurses Day, and so, Jewish Treats honors a woman who made a tremendous impact on the world of public health. Lillian D. Wald (1867 – 1940) was born to…

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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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Israeli-German Relations

On May 13, 1965, Israel officially established diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of (West) Germany (FRG). This event is quite notable, since Israel was established in the…

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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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Making it Transfusable

Today is World Blood Day, and Jewish Treats takes a brief look at the Jewish researchers who made safe blood transfusions possible. In 1901, Karl Landsteiner (June 14, 1868 – June 26,…

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Mourning Jerusalem I: A Brief History of the First Temple

This coming Saturday night and Sunday, Jews the world over will be observing the fast of Tisha b’Av. It is on this day that the Jewish people mourn the destruction of both the First and…

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Minsk, Pinsk and Dvinsk?

Dvinsk, also known as Daugavpils or Duenaburg, is Latvia’s second largest city, situated 140 miles southeast of Riga, Latvia’s capital (Dvinsk is the city’s Russian name). Dvinsk became 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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All That’s Left

August 13th is annually celebrated as “Left Handers Day.” Most Lefties, also known as “southpaws,” due to the orientation of baseball stadiums in regard to the sun, are proud of their…

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American Archivist

Selma Stern-Taeubler (1890-1981) was a natural achiever. Not only was this doctor’s daughter the first woman to be accepted to Baden-Baden’s Gymnasium in Germany, she even graduated from…

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Right Foot First

Some people might find it surprising that the sages discussed certain “best practices” for getting dressed. For instance, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, an abridged compendium of the laws…

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The Hebron Massacre of 1929

One of the most ancient cities in the land of Israel, Hebron is mentioned in the Bible as the location of the Cave of the Patriarchs (Meh’arat Ha’machpelah), which Abraham purchased as…

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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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Seeking God in Elul

In anticipation of the High Holy Days, and during the High Holy Days themselves, Psalm 27 is read twice daily from the beginning of the month of Elul through the holiday of Sukkot in…

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The Three Ts

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we declare: “Repentance, prayer and charity remove the evil of the decree!” In Hebrew, these constitute the three Ts: Teshuva, Tefila and Tzedaka. Teshuva…

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Barry Commoner for President

In 1980, Barry Commoner, a prominent biologist, environmentalist and author of Jewish parentage, ran as a candidate for the President of the United States. As the third party candidate…

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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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Meet Me At The JCC

If you ask a cross-section of Jews what they associate with the initials “JCC,” you may get a variety of answers. That is because the JCC offers a very large swath of services to a very…

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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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