Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

HALF EMPTY

I have always attempted to be a pragmatist, a realist, if you will. The advantage of being such a realist is that one is rarely truly shocked or surprised by the events of life as they unfold. The highs of life are not really that high and the lows are not really that low. It becomes a matter of perspective, of patience, and above all, a matter of faith. It is the high expectations that we...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYETZEI

Our father Yaakov faced many difficult challenges in his long and tumultuous life. This week’s parsha highlights one of the major challenges that any individual can face – the physical and emotional disconnect from one’s family and familiar surroundings. To add to this challenge’s complexity, there is the fact that he is forced to live in a very hostile environment. His work is...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

JEWS AT PRAYER – SOME REFLECTIONS

The horrific murders of people at prayer that recently occurred in Jerusalem raises many more questions than answers. The responses to it were varied. CNN saw in it that Israeli police killed two Palestinians. Israeli politicians made their usual vapid comments, promises and revenge statements, all of which in the past have led nowhere. Learned rabbis and savants have attempted the futile task of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TOLDOT

Perfect parents do not always produce perfect children. This week’s parsha is a perfect illustration of this truism of life and family. There apparently was very little that Yitzchak and Rivka could do to reclaim Eisav to their way of life and level of morality. He was, perhaps, incapable of moral improvement the moment he was born. There existed, and perhaps still exists, a great debate...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

THE CONVERSION BILL

One of the current hot button topics here in Israel is pending legislation to make changes in the current process of converting non-Jews to Judaism. The bill itself underwent many compromises and changes until it was approved by the coalition cabinet for presentation to the Knesset for a deciding vote. The bill, in its original form, was backed by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, abetted by...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

תולדות

הורים מושלמים לא תמיד מצליחים לגדל ילדים מושלמים. פרשת השבוע היא דוגמה מצוינת לאמת הזאת שאנחנו רואים בחיי משפחות. נראה שיצחק ורבקה יכולים היו לעשות אך מעט כדי להחזיר את עשיו לאורח החיים שלהם ולרמה נאותה של מוסרית. אולי...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

חוק הגיור

אחד הנושאים הכי חמים ושנויים במחלוקת היום בישראל הוא החקיקה שמבקשת לעשות שינויים בתהליך הגיור הקיים במדינה היהודית כיום. החוק עצמו עבר הרבה שינויים ופשרות עד שאושר על ידי הממשלה והקואליציה והועבר לכנסת להצבעה....

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

CATS

Like all of the wondrous creatures that the Lord has populated our natural world with, the cat family is most interesting and unique. The big cats such as the lion, leopard and the tiger are marvelous machines of prey, grace and beauty. Their smaller relatives, equally dangerous and equipped with speed and cunning, such as the jaguar and the cheetah are, in their own right, breathtaking in...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CHAYEI SARAH

The loss of one’s beloved spouse, especially after many years and decades of marriage and shared life, is always a traumatic and shattering blow. Those of us, who unfortunately have also experienced this in our own lives, can testify as to the emotional damage and even physical harm that this sad experience can occasion. We see from the life of our father Jacob that even decades later he...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

IKEA

The Swedish furniture maker IKEA made the headlines this past week, even though it was an innocent bystander to the war of words between the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his female Swedish counterpart. Reacting to Sweden's recognition of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, Lieberman caustically said that “the Middle East and the Palestinian – Israeli dispute is slightly...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein