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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

LOST KEYS

Monday, February 20, 2017

A short time ago I was attempting to lock the gates that provide entry into my apartment from the elevator. With my current usual fumbling self, the keys – precious as they are – fell from my hand. There is a very small opening between the edge of the elevator and floor of my apartment, so small that one hardly takes notice of it. Nevertheless, my keys found that aperture and with a thud came to rest at the bottom of the elevator shaft, completely inaccessible to me. Now if I would have attempted to throw my keys towards this space hundreds of times I would not have been able to hit that exact spot between the elevator door and my apartment. But my keys apparently had a mind of...

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MISHPATIM

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Talmud develops for us the complex laws that are laid out here in this week’s Torah reading. In fact, a great proportion of the tractates of the Talmud are involved in explaining the words, ideas and practical implications of the verses that appear in this week’s Torah reading. Judaism is a religion of behavior and practicality and not only of soaring spirituality and otherworldly utopian ideas. It presupposes that there will be physical altercations between people, that property will be damaged, that human beings will behave in a less than sanguine fashion and that monetary and physical consequences for such behavior are necessary in order to allow for society to function. ...

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