Bereshith 5781-2020

“The Origins and Meaning of Evil” (updated and revised from Bereshith 5762-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   After 9/11 and the World Trade Center terrorist bombings, we thought…

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Pre-Chanukah Classes and Workshops on Zoom

Pre-Chanukah Classes and Workshops on ZoomJoin NJOP for these exciting Chanukah prep classes on Zoom! Forward to a friend…

Mikeitz 5781-2020

“A Dysfunctional Family Becomes Functional” (updated and revised from Mikeitz 5762-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Mikeitz, the soap opera, (just…

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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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Bo 5781-2021

“The Slave Mentality” (updated and revised from Bo 5761–2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This week’s parasha, parashat Bo, concludes the Torah’s narrative of parashat Va’eira, of the…

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Va’eira 5781-2021

“Mesmerized by the Subtle Slavery” (updated and revised from Va’eira 5761-2001) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat Va’eira, G-d assures Moses that the Jewish…

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Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement

The Mussar movement, the formal study and program of ethical improvement, was developed in the mid-nineteenth century by Rabbi Israel Salanter (1810-1883). Rabbi Israel’s family name was…

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Feeling Fit Focused on Napoleon

Believe it or not, body building as an international sport, has Jewish roots. Jewish Treats presents a brief biography of Ben Weider, who, together with his brother Joe, created the…

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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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Finally Buried

On the 4th of Adar 1307, the Maharam of Rothenburg was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Worms–fourteen years after his death. The rabbi’s remains were released from the fortress of…

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Until 120!

According to Wikipedia, “The oldest verified person on record was French woman Jeanne Calment (1875 – 1997), who lived to the age of 122 years.” This fact is an excellent opportunity to…

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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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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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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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OMG! Passover is Coming

The intensive physical and emotional preparations for Passover come from one seemingly simple commandment: “Seven days you will eat only matzah, but on the first day you shall have put…

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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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Kee Tisah 5781-2021

“Reverence for Learning in Jewish Tradition” (updated and revised from Kee Tisah 5763-2003) In this week’s parasha, parashat Kee Tisah, we read of the fateful sin of the Jewish people…

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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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Vayikra 5781-2021

“The Lesson of the Mincha Offering--Giving with a Full Heart” (updated and revised from Vayikra 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald This Shabbat, we begin to read the book of…

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OMG! Passover is Coming

The intensive physical and emotional preparations for Passover come from one seemingly simple commandment: "Seven days you will eat only matzah, but on the first day you shall have put…

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Passover Story in Brief

On Passover, we commemorate the exodus from Egyptian slavery. The following is a brief summary: Jacob’s family came to Egypt to escape a famine in Canaan. Joseph, Jacob’s son and the…

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Can You Count to 49?

There is a commandment (Leviticus 23:15) to count the 49 days that immediately follow the first night of Passover and, on the 50th night, to celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. This period…

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Seven Days to the Sea

The Passover celebration lasts seven days (eight days, outside of Israel). The first day (and second, outside of Israel) is a Yom Tov, festival day, on which the seder is celebrated.…

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Great Scots

The story of the great masses of Eastern European Jews who arrived in New York and settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan is more than simply conventional history. It is now regarded…

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Einstein’s Jewish Life

Albert Einstein, whose yahrzeit is the 26th of Nissan (today), is one of the most admired men in history. His name and his face are almost universally recognized, and his scientific…

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Ethics of the Fathers

Ethics – it’s a big word in our day and age. Between political corruption and financial misdeeds, it is easy to wonder what ever happened to even the most basic ethical standards.…

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The Importance of English Books

In honor of April 23rd, which the United Nations has declared English Language Day, Jewish Treats presents a history of the Jewish Publication Society (JPS), the oldest, not-for-profit,…

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When Bread Isn’t Bread

A question for those who bake and for those who love dessert: What is the difference between bread and cake? Yeast, some might answer. Bread has yeast and rises. But what about yeast…

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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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Western Wall History

The Western (Wailing*) Wall is the most accessible holiest location in Jewish life. With 28 rows of massive stones above ground (and 17 below), the Wall itself is physically breathtaking.…

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