Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BAMIDBAR 5/18/2015 12:56 PM

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...

BECHUKOTAI 5/13/2015 01:49 PM

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...

EMOR 4/26/2015 02:46 PM

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...

אמור 4/24/2015 01:24 PM

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...

ACHREI-KEDOSHIM 4/19/2015 12:13 PM

Although the entire gamut of Torah commandments is discussed in this week's Torah reading, it is obvious that the major emphasis is on the subject of sexual morality. It is almost impossible to discuss this subject in the current climate of politically correct Western liberalism. Even a discussion of this situation brings upon one the approbation of being bigoted and intolerant. Yet in the...

תזריע מצורע 4/15/2015 01:09 PM

שוב אנחנו קוראים על כל מיני סוגים של מחלות ונגעים עור שיוצרים אווירה שלילית של טומאה. אנחנו כבר לא יודעים לזהות את הביטוי הגופני של המחלות האלה שבפרשת השבוע מספרת לנו עליהן. המחלות האלה אינן מוכרות לנו, וכבר ברור שלא...

TAZRIA-METZORAH 4/15/2015 12:51 PM

We once again read about types of plagues and dermatological illnesses that create a climate of impunity and negativity. We are no longer privy to the identity and physical appearance of these plagues that are recorded for us in this week's Torah reading. These plagues are or were unknown to us and they are certainly not the modern form of leprosy, which was the usual understanding of them for...

SHMINI 4/9/2015 01:38 PM

Due to the fact that the seventh day of Pesach this year falls on a Friday, the Torah reading of Shmini will occur on different dates in the Jewish world. Here in Israel it will be read immediately after the conclusion of the holiday of Pesach, which is only seven days in length. In the exile/diaspora the Shabbat immediately after the seventh day of Pesach is reckoned and observed as the eighth...

צו 3/23/2015 03:14 PM

ספר ויקרא כולו מתואר בספרות הרבנית כ"תורת כוהנים" – הכללים, ההוראות, הטקסים והתפקידים של אהרון ובניו, מייסדי שושלת הכהונה בעם ישראל. בפרשת השבוע מקבל משה הוראה לצוות את אהרון ואת בניו בעניין הקורבנות שיש להעלות במשכן...

TZAV 3/23/2015 12:02 PM

The entire book of Vayikra is described in rabbinic literature as Torat Kohanim – the laws, instructions, rituals and duties of Aharon and his sons, the founders of the priestly family of Israel. In this week’s Torah reading, Moshe is instructed to command Aharon regarding the daily sacrifices to be offered in the Mishkan/Tabernacle and the keeping of eternal fire that always was to be...