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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Weekly Parsha

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...

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...

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...

VAYIKRA 3/16/2015 01:19 PM

The word vayikra that begins this week's Torah reading, and is the name of the third book of the Chumash, is distinguished by having a miniature alef at the end of the word. I have written about this exceptional script/font in previous years. I concentrated then mainly on the traditional explanation that this small letter was inserted in the Torah to highlight the abject humility of our teacher...

ויקרא 3/15/2015 01:59 PM

המילה "ויקרא" שפותחת את פרשת השבוע, והיא גם שמו של החומש השלישי, מיוחדת באלף הקטנה שמופיעה בסוף המילה. כתבתי על הפונט המיוחד הזה בשנים קודמות. אז התמקדתי בעיקר בפירוש המסורתי שאומר שהאות הזעירה הזאת נכנסה לתורה כדי...

VAYAKHEL – PEKUDEI 3/9/2015 01:44 PM

The main lesson of this week's Torah reading, which may possibly be obscured by the wealth of Mishkan detail that appears in these closing chapters of the book of Shemot,, is the basic Jewish concept of accountability. Moshe accounts for all of the work that was done in the construction of the Mishkan/tabernacle and for every shekel that was expended in that project. Moshe was troubled when...

ויקהל-פקודי 3/8/2015 02:37 PM

הלקח העיקרי שאנחנו לומדים בפרשת השבוע, שמסתתר אולי בין שפע הפרטים על המשכן בפרקים אחרונים אלה של ספר שמות, הוא תפיסת יסוד ביהדות: מתן דין וחשבון. משה מציג לבני ישראל דין וחשבון על כל העבודה שנעשתה בבניית המשכן ועל כל...