Neilah: The Final Serevice

While one may make requests of God or atone for transgressions at any time of the year, the first ten days of Tishrei (from Rosh Hashana through Yom Kippur) are considered particularly…

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The Foods of Tu B’Shevat

Today, Jews around the world will celebrate Tu B’Shevat, the new year of the trees. Tu B’Shevat is often celebrated with the 7 species for which the Torah praises the land of Israel: “A…

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For The Sin We Committed…

One of the main steps in the process of teshuva (repentance) is confessing one’s sins and verbalizing one’s errors. In so doing, a person admits committing a sin, not so much to anyone…

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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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Scapegoat

The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial "scapegoat." When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing Jews…

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When Adar Begins

The month of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar year, begins this Friday evening, February 12th (Rosh Chodesh is two days, but Adar begins on Friday night). The Talmud…

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The Fast of the 17th of Tammuz

Everyone knows about Yom Kippur. There are, however, several other fast days in the Jewish calendar that are not nearly as well known. Tomorrow, on June 25, the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz…

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Just a Half Shekel

This Shabbat is Parashat Shekalim (shekels, the Biblical monetary units). The Torah portion that speaks of Shekalim (Exodus 30:11-16) is read, as the Maftir portion after the regular…

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Bereshith 5780-2019

How to Achieve Immortality the G-dly Way (Revised and updated from Bereshith 5760-1999) by Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald   What could be more perfect or more harmonious for the human…

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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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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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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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B’shalach 5781-2021

“G-d: The Source of Sweetness” (updated and revised from B’shalach 5762-2002) by, Rabbi Ephraim Z. Buchwald In this week’s parasha, parashat B’shalach, immediately after the splitting of…

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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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The Sabbath of Remembering

This Shabbat is Shabbat Parashat Zachor, the Sabbath of Remembering. The Torah portion that is read as the Maftir (additional) portion, after the conclusion of the regular weekly Torah…

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Rabin

Born in Jerusalem on March 1, 1922, Yitzhak Rabin grew up in Tel Aviv. He entered the military service in 1941 when he joined the newly formed Palmach. During World War II, he fought for…

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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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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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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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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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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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Remembering Bergen-Belsen

The spring brings with it annual anniversaries that mark the liberation of Nazi concentration camps, death camps and a day of renewed life for tens of thousands of survivors of the Shoah…

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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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This Land Is Our Land

“Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai said: ‘Three things are weighed equally, and they are earth, humans and rain.’ Rabbi Levi bar Hiyyata said: ‘… to teach you that without earth there would be no…

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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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A Look at Honesty

In honor of Honesty Day (created by M. Hirsh Goldberg in the 1990s), Jewish Treats presents some fascinating insights into the Jewish view on the importance of honesty. Much of what…

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The Occident

In honor of World Press Freedom Day, today, May 3rd, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly, Jewish Treats takes a quick glance at the first* general Jewish periodical in the…

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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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