Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BAMIDBAR

The main message that is contained in this week’s Torah reading, as well as in much of the content of the chumash of Bamidbar, is that one does not only count numbers but that numbers really count in Jewish life. The Torah emphasizes for us the fact that without Jews there is no Judaism. Judaism is not an idea or a philosophy. It is meant to be a living organism and that requires human...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHAVUOT

Fifty days pass quickly, especially if one counts them individually. It seems that it was just yesterday that we were preparing ourselves to sit down at the Pesach seder table and here it is Shavuot at the end of the week. Though the holiday has a number of other names associated with it – the Festival of Bikurim/First Fruits, the festival of the granting of the Torah – the proper name...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

POLLS AND PUNDITS

It has been a tough month for the political experts amongst us. There were two major elections that commanded international interest and media coverage. One was here in Israel and the second one just concluded in the United Kingdom. In both instances the media, in the main, was heavily biased towards the Left. Isaac Herzog, Tzipi Livni and their left of center Zionist Union party was adored by...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

BECHUKOTAI

The book of Vayikra concludes this week with the Torah reading of Bechukotai. It presents rather stark choices to us. Blessings and disasters are described and it is apparently our behavior, actions and lifestyles – all of which are within our range of life choices – that will determine our individual fate and national future. It appears to be an all or nothing scenario with the Torah...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MAY DAY

May 1 is the most sacred and significant day of the year on the calendar of the universal Left. It was, and in certain countries still is, the day of the Red Flag and the marching parade of millions of workers and the proletariat throughout the world. In the halcyon days of the Soviet Union, terrible and aggressive weapons of destruction were paraded before the eyes of the world in Red Square...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’HAR

The emphasis that the Torah places on the location – Mount Sinai – where Moshe received the Torah and its commandments, and the particular commandment regarding the observance of a sabbatical year, has been an issue of much interest to the commentators on the Torah over the ages. Rashi, quoting the famous rabbinic dictum, states that the words “Mount Sinai” indicate to us that just as...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EMOR

There are numerous thoughts in rabbinic literature expressed as to the intent of the Torah in banning kohanim – the priestly male descendants of Aharon – from coming into contact with the deceased. Ramban exposits that it is the “ordinary” Jew, so to speak, the non-kohein, who is immersed in the daily material existence of competitive life that requires constant reminders of one’s own...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GROWING UP

All children grow up and hopefully mature into independent, self-sufficient and productive adults. The Torah itself advocates this process when it states that “therefore every man shall leave his father and mother” in order to marry and build one's own home and family. Growing up is often a painful process for both parents and children. I have often advocated the idea that everyone should...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ZEITGEIST

There is no way that anyone can completely shut the door of one’s religious Jewish home to exclude the influences of prevailing culture from entering our living quarters and influencing our families. The zeitgeist – the prevailing culture of the time and place -has always been a powerful and sometime detrimental force in Jewish history. It was the existing zeitgeist of rampant and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

אמור

בספרות הפרשנית מוצעות כמה וכמה תשובות לשאלה מה הרעיון שעומד מאחורי האיסור של התורה על הכוהנים, צאצאיו של אהרון, לבוא במגע עם המתים. התשובה של הרמב"ן מציעה את התובנה שהיהודי "הרגיל", הלא-כהן, זה ששקוע בקיום החומרי של...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein