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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PEOPLE

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Standing on the corner of two major thoroughfares in midtown Manhattan recently I was struck by the number and variety of people walking past. There were hordes of them all purposefully heading towards some appointed place and event. They were a composite of all of humanity, representing every color of human skin, babel of languages, all social strata, faiths and ethnic origins. When I was a blasé New Yorker twenty-three years ago I never noticed that all of these people existed and were parading before me. The anonymity of urban life allows one to ignore people as though they do not exist. We tend to see only what we wish to see, the people we can recognize and with whom we can...

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RE’EH

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The American Declaration of Independence claimed that certain basic human rights were obvious. Yet what is obvious to some is in reality obscure and unknown to many others. Because of this, the Torah emphasizes the obvious in this week’s Torah reading. The choice between death in this world and the next, and life – eternal life, no less, should be obvious. The Torah in fact states that seeing this will lead to a correct choice. But one needs to see them objectively and rationally. People, who make poor choices, do so on the basis of emotion, desire, foolishness and illusory hopes and false ideas. These are the products of distorted vision - the inability to see things clearly. Only...

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