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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BECHUKOTAI

Sunday, May 22, 2016

From a cursory review of this week’s Torah reading, one can easily come to the conclusion that God’s method for dealing with us is with earthly rewards and punishments. The blessings that appear in the reading are all physical, emotional and sometimes psychological. There is no mention of eternal life, the survival of the soul, and/or of the rewards in the World to Come. And the same is true relative to the punishments and disasters, which are predicted to happen to the Jewish people when they stray from the path of God and righteousness. All of those punishments and tragedies, described in great and graphic detail, are events of this world and of its physical nature. Again, there...

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NORMALCY

Sunday, May 22, 2016

One of the most difficult standards to judge or even define is what is considered normal behavior. We all aspire to a sense of normalcy and in fact we wish to live him a society that is considered normal. The problem is how do we judge normalcy? What was abnormal or even abhorrent behavior just a few decades ago is today within the realm of acceptability. So, there is no doubt that any definition of normalcy is relative to the society and times in which we live and function. However, Judaism does establish parameters for acceptable behavior. These are encompassed in the traditions, customs and values that the Torah presents before us. What is normal and what can be considered...

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