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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

FOCUS AND VISION

I once heard the Ponevezher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman say to a potential donor that he no longer had the ability to sleep normally for a number of hours but he had not lost his ability to continue to dream. I thought about this last week after returning from my visit t to my opthamologist/retinologist who confirmed the fact that my eyesight is no longer what it once was. But I comforted myself...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAZRIA – METZORAH

The laws regarding ritual purity and the metaphysical disease of tzsorat, which by the way is not the medically recognized disease of leprosy, affect three categories of human life and society – the human body, clothing and houses. These three areas of human societal existence are the basic building blocks of civilization and society generally. They are the most vital and at the same time the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ISRAEL AT 69

The State of Israel celebrates its sixty-ninth Independence Day. Those of us who were alive in 1947 when the state came into being cannot help but be amazed and impressed by our feisty little country and its achievements. Israel has never been as secure and strong as it is today. It has also, at the very same time, never been so vulnerable, demonized and beset with vicious uncompromising enemies...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHMINI

This week’s Torah reading contains both narrative history and dogmatic Jewish halacha. It relates to us the tragic story of the deaths of the two older sons of Aharon, when they apparently willfully mishandled the obligatory incense offering in the Mishkan/Tabernacle. The Torah reading also details for us the list of animals, birds and fish that may be consumed by Jews in accordance with the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PESACH THOUGHTS

We usually think of Purim as being the Jewish holiday of the year that represents the opposites of human existence. It is also thought of as being a time of wine and whatever else accompanies the consumption of that alcoholic beverage. But surprisingly enough Pesach also fits that template of opposites and wine consumption. We are all familiar with the rabbinic law that ordains the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TZAV – SHABBAT HAGADOL

This year, as is true in most years of the Jewish calendar, the Torah reading of Tzav coincides with the Shabbat preceding Pesach – Shabbat Hagadol. Since on a deep level of understanding there are really no coincidences in Torah matters, the connection between Tzav and Shabbat Hagaol should be explored and explained. The word “tzav” is one of a mandatory command. It does not present...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NO SERVICE

On my recent trip to America I encountered great difficulty with my mobile phone. It kept on telling me that it could not complete the calls I was attempting to make because there was “no service.” This happened at numerous locations throughout my American stay, frustrating me greatly. I was hooked up to a major American telecom provider and could not understand why I was encountering this...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIKRA

The Torah emphasizes in the opening words of this week’s Torah reading that God, so to speak, called out to Moshe to instruct him in the laws and strictures of sacrifices in the Temple service. What is the significance of “calling out” – which always implies doing so by name, such as by parents naming their child – instead of the usual verses beginning that God, so to speak, “spoke”...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SPRINGTIME

Those of us who are living in the northern hemisphere of our globe are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of springtime and the end of the winter weather woes. Here in Israel we had a fairly normal winter with a decent amount of rain and a few cold spells. In the main however it was an unremarkable winter, weather wise. Nevertheless, winter is winter and I for one am anxiously and excitedly...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYAKHEL – PEKUDEI

The Torah reading of the book of Shemot concludes this week with the reading of the total portion of Vayakhel and Pekudei. These two portions are a fitting conclusion to the long narrative describing the construction of the Taberncle/Mishkan. Every great project, whether physical or spiritual, is yet incomplete without an accounting being given as to the investment, effort and cost relating to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein