Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

KEEPING OUR DISTANCE

It seems fairly obvious to me that American Jewry should stay out of Israeli politics and that Israeli politicians should stay out of the affairs of American Jewry. However, our politicians somehow feel impelled to visit America as often as they can and to act or pontificate on all sorts of matters over which they have little knowledge or deep understanding. We should agree in advance that...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIGASH

The opening verses of this week's Torah reading are among the most dramatic and challenging in the entire Torah. Two great, powerful personalities in the house of the children of Yaakov, Yehudah and Yosef, engage in a clash and debate of epic proportions, regarding the release of their brother Binyamin. At first glance it seems obvious that Yosef has the upper hand in his struggle. After...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MIKETZ

The dreamer is about to be saved by dreams, albeit not the ones that he dreamt but rather those of an unlikely stranger – the Pharaoh of Egypt himself. But dreams are dreams and often times they do not coincide with human reality. What makes Yosef so extraordinary in the eyes of Pharaoh was his ability to, so to speak, dream along with Pharaoh, interpret his dreams and translate them into...

Posted in:
by
Faigie Gilbert

CHANUKA TODAY

The Maccabees of old lived in a very fortuitous time. Had they lived today they would be accused of extrajudicial executions of the poor Syrian Greeks who, after all, were only trying to kill them and improve their civilization. At least that is certainly how the Foreign Minister of Sweden would have seen the matter. But since Sweden at that time was inhabited by pagan tribes and there was no...

Posted in:
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYESHEV

Our father Yaakov finally makes it home to the Land of Israel, the land promised by God to his ancestors…that their descendants would inherit and dwell therein. Rashi, according to rabbinic tradition, portrays our great patriarch as somehow viewing his return to the Land of Israel as being the final chapter in his difficult and turbulent life. The Land of Israel, so to speak, is perceived...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

FASCINATIONS

Parts of the Moslem world are currently experiencing a morbid fascination with death – their own and that of others. There is no long-term strategy to the terror that grips Western society and all of us here in the State of Israel. Stabbing a soldier or running down a policeman or pedestrian with an automobile has no strategic value and, in reality, accomplishes nothing for the cause of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HOORAY FOR THE MURDERERS

The trend over the past century and especially in our current twisted times has been to try to discover the motives that drive people to kill other people. The victims being killed are many times unknown to their killers and are personally innocent of any guilt in their death. Their fault lay in being of a certain race, nationality, religious belief and even simply (and unfortunately) being in...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYISHLACH

I have always wondered why the Mishnah in Avot singled out our father Avraham as being the person who was tested ten times in his lifetime rather than concentrating on the life of our father Yaakov who, as related in this week’s Torah reading, underwent so many tests and misfortunes. Yaakov finally escapes the clutches of Lavan only to be confronted by the threat of Eisav attempting to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE IRRELEVANCE OF IT ALL

In attempting to be currently relevant, in the long view of history and human events, is the danger of becoming totally irrelevant. This occurs when dealing with transient issues, when a long-term view is what is really necessary. By reading and listening to the media, the bloggers, and the party and convention planners among us, one would believe that the fate of the Jewish people, the State of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYETZEI

Rashi comments regarding the opening word of this week’s Torah reading that when a righteous person departs from a community, the loss is noticeable and is damaging to that community. In most instances, the community or even the righteous person’s own family and friends, pay little attention to his or her presence while the person is amongst them. It is only when that person is no longer...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein