Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

EXPECTATIONS

A great deal of our reactions to events is dependent upon what our previous expectations regarding those events or personalities were. If we have very high expectations of success, morality or altruistic behavior from our individual leaders, be they political or religious, national or personal, we are invariably doomed to disappointment - the higher the expectation, the more bruising the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

One of the most puzzling, if not even disturbing subjects, discussed in biblical and halachic detail, appears in this week’s Torah reading. That subject matter concerns itself with the institution of slavery – of literally owning another human being and defining them as human chattel. Certainly, the entire subject matter grates on the ears and sensibilities of Western citizens in our current...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

משפטים

בפרשת השבוע מופיע אחד הנושאים הכי מתמיהים, ומטרידים אפילו, שנדונים בפרוטרוט בתורה ובהלכה. הנושא הזה הוא עבדות – הבעלות, פשוטו כמשמעו, של אדם אחד על בן אדם אחר והגדרתו כפריט רכוש אנושי. אין ספק שהנושא כולו צורם מאוד...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

ציפיות

חלק גדול מהתגובות שלנו לדברים שמתרחשים נקבע על פי הציפיות שהיו לנו מהאירועים או מהאנשים הנוגעים בדבר. כשיש לנו ציפיות גדולות להצלחה, למוסריות ולהתנהגות אלטרואיסטית מהמנהיגים שלנו, בין אם הם פוליטיים או דתיים, לאומיים...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

NEVER AGAIN

I am well aware that there is no use beating a dead horse and that the subject of the Holocaust is already in the minds of most of the world's population, truly a dead horse. Last week the United Nations and over fifty countries commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the expulsion of the Germans from the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. This commemoration was marked by the usual plethora of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

There are two different viewpoints as to the timing and to the nature of the visit of Yitro to the Jewish encampment in the desert of Sinai. One opinion is that he came before the revelation of God to the Jews and the granting of the Torah to them. The other opinion is that he came after Sinai and the Torah revelation. I think that these two different opinions really delve into the character and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’SHALACH - SHIRA

There are many different types of songs familiar to human society. There are songs of triumph and of resignation and acceptance. There are songs of joy and love and anthems of hatred and violence. There are songs of nostalgia and remembrance and songs of hope in future greatness. There are also hymns of faith and melodies of rebellion and change. In short, in human history, one can almost...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

FORTUNE AND EQUALITY

One of the more popular and populist social and electoral issues here in Israel and in the rest of the Western world as well, is rectifying the seeming inequality of the distribution of wealth. The upper five percent of the population, in terms of wealth worldwide, control close to eighty percent of the wealth of the societies that they inhabit. In order to correct this seemingly unfair...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BO

The story of the Jewish people’s suffering under Egyptian bondage reaches its climax in this week's Torah reading and in the beginning part of next week's Torah reading as well. The Torah does not really dwell on the history and political significance of this momentous event. It tells us of the plagues visited upon the Egyptians, of the stubbornness of Pharaoh and of the eventual capitulation...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MY BOOKS

I have always been a lover of books. Even when I was a young student in the yeshiva many decades ago I would read books on all sorts of different subjects. Back then, I then used the meager financial resources at my disposal to purchase books. Prices were different then and for three dollars I was able to obtain classic books by great Talmudic scholars. When I was a rabbi in Miami Beach, I...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein