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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

KDOSHIM

The usual translation of the word kdoshim into English is “holy.” As is also usual in translations from Hebrew into English, it does not carry with it the nuance that is present in the original Hebrew word. Kdoshim is not exclusively meant to represent holiness in the common usage of the word but it encompasses a dedication and devotion to a cause, an idea - to a faith itself. The Lord...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SEEING ISRAEL

Since I have spent the past two weeks outside of Israel I have come to the conclusion that the only way to truly see and appreciate Israel is by stepping away from it a little bit, so to speak – to see it from afar. Those of us who are blessed to live in Israel, many times on a regular daily basis gain a very myopic view of the country, its struggles and accomplishments. The rabbis in their...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ACHREI MOS

The three main vices that tempt leadership are misuse of power, greed and sexual licentiousness. We here in Israel are unfortunately well aware of all of these vices. We know how they have affected our political leaders and even important national decisions. The Torah, here in our weekly parsha reading, addresses both directly and indirectly these dangers and vices. The two sons of Aaron...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PESACH

The glorious holiday of Pesach is upon us once more. With all of its rituals and wonder, Pesach marks the uniqueness of the Jewish people – a people delivered from centuries of bondage through miraculous Heavenly intervention. So, one of the main functions of Pesach is to connect us to an event that occurred millennia ago in a distant land. The natural inclination of people is to feel...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SPRING AHEAD

Last week Israel joined the United States and the other Western countries which had already pushed their clocks ahead one hour - going to summer Daylight Savings Time. The advantages of doing so are still somewhat debatable. There was even a report in the media last week that the switch to summer Daylight Savings Time somehow contributes to an increased risk of heart attack! But, summer...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

METZORA

The Talmud derives from this week’s Torah reading the basic halachic principle of chazaka – the presumption that what was before is now as well. The Talmud inferred this from the fact that the kohein/priest, when declaring a house to be impure because of plague or pure because the plague had not spread along its walls, did so only upon leaving the house and standing outside of its premises....

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE TRUTH HURTS

We are all well aware that it is oftentimes not polite or wise to state the whole truth when human sensitivities are involved. The Talmud in one of its famous statements asks the rhetorical question: “If one has purchased an item in the marketplace, should his friend praise the purchase or denigrate it?” The Talmud apparently feels that it is discourteous if not even downright mean to...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAZRIA

One of the primary commandments in Judaism is to marry and have children. In the Garden of Eden we find Adam and Chava blessed by God and told to procreate and fill the world with people. For the Jewish people, having children has become a demographic necessity. Even though it is nearly seventy-five years since World II and the resultant Holocaust, the Jewish people has not as of yet made good on...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHMINI

The Torah itself records the reaction of Moshe to the tragic deaths of the sons of Aharon. Moshe tells his grieving brother that the Lord had informed him, “that I will sanctify My name through those who are nearest to Me.” Therefore even though the harsh judgment against Aharon – the dramatic and unexpected deaths of his two elder sons, Nadav and Avihu – dominates the mood of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE PAST AND THE PRESENT

I received a great deal of comment about my last week’s article on the mental and social regression of a large section of Israeli society. Most of the comments were neither complimentary nor critical but were rather requests for more specifics about the need for change in the mindset of much of Orthodox Jewry here in Israel and in the Diaspora as well. Still under the influence of Purim and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein