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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

VAETCHANAN

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SAD TIMES

The Tisha B'Av season carries with it many sad and bitter memories for the Jewish people. The destruction of both the first and second Temples occurred on that date and these events are the primary reasons for the commemoration of the day as being one of fasting and mourning. However, over the long centuries of Jewish exile other tragic events occurred during the Tisha B'Av season and their...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DVARIM

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LEADERSHIP

Throughout the ages, Jewish leadership has almost always been defined in terms of knowledge, intelligence, vision and personal integrity. The paradigm of Jewish leadership was established by our first national leader, Moshe, and traces its line through the other biblical leaders and later through the great men of the Mishna and the Talmud. Through the long night of the Jewish exile, the leaders...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DAYS OF FASTING

Having just recently passed through the fast day of the Seventeenth of Tammuz, the Jewish world sadly prepares for the fast day of the Ninth of Av, the day that marks the destruction of both Temples and commemorates other later national tragedies in Jewish history. The penultimate day of fasting on the Jewish calendar is naturally Yom Kippur. However, Yom Kippur differs from the other four...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

JEWISH MUSIC

Over the ages, Jewish music, so to speak, has always been religious, prayer music. However, over the past half century, really beginning with the Shlomo Carlebach era, Jewish music has branched out. In Israel, the popular songs and performers, although using Hebrew as the language of the lyrics, are not really in the Jewish music genre. The songs are the same in content and style as pop music the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAXI DRIVERS

One of the most storied professions in Jewish lore is that of the baal agalah - literally, the owner of the wagon. Until the advent of the automobile and its attendant spin-offs - buses, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, etc. - a horse or donkey and wagon was the staple method of ground transportation. The other alternative was to walk, a method of transportation used by most of humanity most...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MONEY

The understanding, importance and nuances of money have been known to the Jews since earliest times. Though the rabbis of the Talmud correctly stressed that the Jews "do better" spiritually under conditions of poverty than under conditions of extreme affluence, they never promoted poverty as a way of life nor did they disrespect or condemn those who were wealthy, even though those who were...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MESSIAHS AND MESSIANISM

One of the central tenets of Judaism is the belief in the coming of the Messiah and the betterment of the human condition through his efforts and presence. The biblical prophets of Israel foretold the coming of this great messianic era. Over the long exile of Israel from its homeland and the terrible persecutions visited upon the Jewish people, the Messiah came to represent the deliverance of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

REMEMBERING

The twentieth day of Sivan was marked as a remembrance day on the calendar of Ashkenazic Jewry for centuries. It commemorated the terrible pogroms that Jews suffered in the Christian countries of Europe throughout the Middle Ages and it marked the culminating pogroms of 1648-9 led by Bogdan Chmielinicki. It is estimated that over two hundred thousand Jews were murdered in that war of Ukrainian...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein