Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

MAASEI 7/21/2014 01:00 PM

There is a trend amongst all biblical commentators in the Jewish world to view the biblical description of past events that occurred to our ancestors from the time of Abraham through the beginning of Second Temple times as being not only a description of past events but to also subtly indicate the course of all events that would befall the Jewish people. This type of idea perhaps helps us to...

MATOT 7/14/2014 12:46 PM

The subject matter that begins this week's parsha concerns itself with vows and commitments that one undertakes to perform or to abstain from. There is an entire tractate in the Talmud – Nedarim – that discusses this subject almost exclusively. In Jewish life, even an oral commitment in many cases can be considered to be binding. The Torah expressly teaches us that one should live up to and...

PINCHAS 7/7/2014 12:06 PM

In the midst of the sadness and angst that envelops us yet here in Israel and throughout the entire Jewish world, the story of Pinchas, the righteous zealot, rewarded by Heaven for his act of zealotry and violence, intrudes. We are still reeling from the killings and rockets and losses that we have so recently suffered. So, what are we to make of this most puzzling incident recorded for us in...

BALAK 6/30/2014 12:55 PM

This week’s parsha offers us the opportunity to meet the unofficial founders of the Human Rights Organizations of our time. Here we see the ancestors of Kathleen Ashton, who is the head foreign affairs person of the European Union, the leaders of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, the left-leaning anti-Semitic professors of academia the world over, the neo-communist Putin and the...

CHUKAT 6/23/2014 12:34 PM

Moshe is finally done in by the requests of the Jewish people in the desert – this time again for their water supply. In his exasperation about their constant litany of complaints and grumblings, he transgresses over God’s commandment to speak to the rock and instead he strikes the rock with his staff. His punishment for this act is swift and dramatic. He will not step into the Land of...

KORACH 6/16/2014 01:19 PM

In the entire biblical narrative of the sojourn of the Jewish people in the desert of Sinai, the tribe of Levi is not mentioned as being a participant in any of the rebellions and mutinies of the Jewish people against God and Moshe. The tribe of Levi stood firm in its faith and loyalty during the disaster of the Golden Calf and rallied to the side of Moshe to stem that tide of idolatry. In...

שלח 6/9/2014 12:40 PM

הסוגיה העיקרית שעולה בפרשת השבוע היא איך ייתכן שכל כך הרבה מנהיגים חכמים וצדיקים לכאורה בעם ישראל עושים טעות כה יסודית בחזון ובשיקול הדעת שלהם ובכך דנים את עצמם ואת האנשים שהם מנהיגים למוות ולחרפה. כל מפרשי התורה...

SHLACH 6/9/2014 11:55 AM

The fundamental issue raised in this week’s parsha is how could so many wise and ostensibly pious leaders of Israel make such a fundamental error in vision and judgment and thereby condemn them and their constituents to death and ignominy? All of the commentators to Torah from the Talmud and Midrash forward in history have attempted to unravel this mystery for us. Various theories, each one...

BEHALOTCHA 6/2/2014 12:44 PM

There is a moment of tension and crisis in the lives of all humans when one switches from dependence on others – parents, teachers, mentors, etc. – to self-reliance and independence. This transition is not usually accomplished easily or painlessly. And, truth be said, there are many who never accomplish this transition at all and remain in a stage of abject dependency all of their lives. ...

נשא 5/27/2014 12:46 PM

בפרשת השבוע הזה התורה שמה דגש על התפקיד ועל המעמד המיוחד של שבט לוי. בני לוי נספרים בנפרד משאר שבטי ישראל. המעמד שלהם בחברה, בגלל עבודתם בבית המקדש, מקנה להם ערים נפרדות שמפוזרות בכל ארץ-ישראל, ומעשר מכל היבול החקלאי...