Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

KLINGHOFFER

An elderly, crippled, wheel chair bound Jew by the name of Klinghoffer was thrown overboard from a cruise ship by Arab terrorists about a decade ago. Klinghoffer’s only crime was that he was Jewish. These facts are uncontested and well-documented. Nevertheless, in the name of artistic freedom, a play was written that justified the murderous deed and intimated that Klinghoffer’s murder was...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LECH LECHA

Relocating one's self is a challenging task at any age. Doing so in the later stages of life is doubly challenging. It is no wonder that the rabbis of the Mishnah characterized our father Avraham’s move from Mesopotamia to the Land of Israel as being one of the ten major tests of his turbulent life. Leaving all that is familiar and attempting to integrate one's self in a new and strange...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE RESIDUE OF THE GREAT WAR

What is Europe’s problem and hang up with the State of Israel? Why is it so focused on this Middle Eastern conflict, almost to the exclusion of other seemingly greater issues closer to home? Anti-Semitism certainly plays a role in this European fixation regarding Israel but I do not believe that it is the sole, and perhaps not even the main catalyst driving European policies, statements and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOACH

The main character described in this week's Torah reading is naturally Noach himself. I think that the Torah wishes to illustrate, through Noach’s personality and his reactions to the impending disaster and to the world afterwards - the challenges of being a survivor. Everyone who has ever survived a serious challenge or tragedy replays in one's mind what might have been done differently,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BERESHITH

In the whirlwind cascade of events that fill this opening parsha of the Torah, one can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of subjects discussed. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, after they exercised their free will to disobey God's commandment, is an important issue to dwell upon and discuss. What life was like within...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VZOT HABRACHA

Very shortly we will conclude the reading of the Torah cycle for this year. The Torah ends with the description of the passing of Moshe. The Torah pointedly tells us that there never will be another Moshe. We are also taught that there will never be another generation such as the generation of Jews that were redeemed from Egypt and who accepted the Torah on Mount Sinai. And, we are also taught...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUKKOTH

After the tension filled solemnity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the holiday of Sukkoth arrives with its many inspiring rituals and its message of joy and rejoicing in the service of God. It is regarding Sukkoth that the Torah instructs us “to be joyful on your holiday.” Now, joy, like almost all other emotions is not something that can be turned on and off like a faucet. A person...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

YOM KIPPUR

The holiest day of the year is upon us. The time of atonement and forgiveness, of introspection and self-analysis has again arrived. The unique quality of the day of Yom Kippur is that it is a day of cleansing. Just as our refraining from food and drink on that day helps cleanse us physically, so too does our participation in prayer, serious thought, recognition of personal faults and a new...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ROSH HASHANAH

The Torah emphasizes to us that the day of Rosh Hashanah is a day of remembrance and of memory. Heaven is able to recall everything and everyone; human beings, less so. Human memory is selective, arbitrary and many if not most times faulty and certainly somewhat inaccurate. People have often told me that they heard me say such and such in a public lecture and I have no recollection whatsoever...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU

There are two major songs/poems that appear in the Torah. One is the great song of deliverance, which was the reaction of Moshe and the Jewish people to their being saved from the bondage of Egypt and the waters of Yam Suf. The other is that of this week's parsha, Haazinu. This song/poem is also authored by Moshe but this was composed at the end of the forty-year sojourn of the Jewish people in...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein