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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

CHUKAT

The entire book of Bamidbar is a litany of bad behavior, poor choices and a lack of faith that dooms that generation – a great generation that left Egypt triumphantly and miraculously – to death in the desert of Sinai. But perhaps the most tragic event on a human and personal level is contained in this week's Torah reading when the fate of Moshe is sealed. He will not be allowed to enter...

Posted in:
Bible/ Tanach
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KORACH

Apparently there were influential sections of the Jewish people that found it difficult to have a proper relationship with their leader Moshe. The minimalist Jews – the eiruv rav - couldnot get enough of Moshe. They constantly needed him and his presence and when they felt that he was absent, and perhaps would not return, they substituted a golden calf in his stead. This week we read of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CAUSE AND EFFECT

An article entitled: “What’s wrong with Conservative Judaism?” appeared in a recent issue of the Jerusalem Report magazine. This article was authored by Myron M. Fenster, the Rabbi Emeritus of the Shelter Rock Jewish Center of Roslyn, New York, a leading Conservative congregation. As the title of the article indicates, the movement is in trouble due to a dramatic decrease in its number of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHLACH

To a great extent the Jewish people have always had an easier time dealing with the study and observance of Torah than with the primacy of the Land of Israel in Jewish life and thought. For various reasons, throughout our history we have always had difficulty dealing with the reality of being an independent, self-governing national entity living within the borders of the country that the Lord...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RABBI CHAIM ZELIG FASMAN

My beloved friend and study partner from my yeshiva days in Chicago, Rabbi Chaim Zelig Fasman, passed away recently. I was really brought up very short and greatly distressed at learning of his passing. Even though seventy years and the space of great continents separated us, one never forgets or is really distant from one’s learning partner – we studied together on a daily basis for nine...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BEHALOTCHA

Somehow, things start to go very wrong for Moshe and the Jewish people regarding their sojourn in the desert of Sinai, on their way to the Promised Land of Israel. The defection of Yitro, though for honorable and seemingly noble reasons, weakens the resolution of the rest of Israel to somehow enter and conquer their God-given homeland. The rabbis warned us that wise people and leaders should...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUMMERTIME

No matter what official calendars may say, there is no question that the summer has arrived here in Israel. We have had quite a number of hot spells already and there will undoubtedly be many more over the coming months. Summer generally has become synonymous with leisure, vacations, trips and a more relaxed view of life. Naturally, there are always uncertain events, completely unpredictable...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NASSO

The role of the Levites in Jewish life was a very important one, even though it was not always completely delineated and defined. The essential task of the Levites was to serve as the caretakers in charge of the maintenance of the holy Temple. The Talmud called them "the gatekeepers.” They were, so to speak, the maintenance staff of the Temple, assisting the priests in their tasks, though not...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHAVUOT

Although there is no really accurate way to measure the relative importance of the holidays of the Jewish calendar year, I think that we can all agree that the holiday of Shavuot appears to be the least dramatic of them all. The Torah describes it as an agricultural feast day commemorating the grain harvest and the greening of the first fruits of the season as an offering in the Temple in...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BAMIDBAR

In this week’s reading of the Torah, almost the entire text is devoted to a count of the Jewish people as they encamped in the desert of Sinai. Later in this same book of the Torah, a further count will be taken and recorded. This idea of taking a census of the population of the nation is easily understood and accepted in our society as well. Currently almost all countries and societies...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein