Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

THE WORLD IS A MESS

The political turmoil that is currently developing in major countries of the world only serves to underscore the uncertainty of life and events. Things never turn out the way we envision them to happen. The continuing destabilization of the Trump administration in the United States is deeply troubling and potentially very dangerous. Sidetracked by all sorts of self-inflicted wounds, President...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHLACH

Revisiting a story on the spies that Moshe sent to the Land of Israel is always a very discouraging moment. How could everything have gone so wrong and so fast? All of the reasons advanced over the ages by the great commentators to the Torah – personal ambition, fear of the unknown, disregard for tradition, lack of faith in God, etc. – are undoubtedly true and correct. But to a certain extent...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DREAMS

In the English language, the concept of dreams usually has a positive connotation. Negative dreams are call nightmares. In Hebrew, however, the word for dreams is neutral-which connote both positive and happy dreams as well as dreams that are troubling and unpleasant. The subject of dreams is widely discussed in Talmudic and rabbinic writings and in Hebrew literature. In fact there is an entire...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’HALOTCHA

The menorah has been one of the symbols of the Jewish people from time immemorial. It remains so today as well, it being one of the major symbols representing the Jewish state of Israel. The original menorah was cast and fashioned from one solid, large piece of gold. According to Jewish tradition, the construction of this great artifact was so detailed and complicated that it was beyond the ken...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NASSO

The human drive to be unique and special, to stand out in a crowd, to identify one's self in terms of being of a different status than others, is common to all of us. Many times in life we measure ourselves not by our own lives but rather how we differ from all of the people that surround us. This is true in the usual and mundane events of life that occur to us daily. But it is also true in the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PRIVILEGES AND RIGHTS

The nature of human beings is to automatically transfer that which begins as a privilege – an extra perk in life – into a right, something that the person is automatically entitled to have. No one ever wants to experience the loss of the privilege or boon that one once attained. A reduction in salary, loss of a professional or commercial title, the defeats suffered in an election, all of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHAVUOT

Shavuot is a very difficult holiday to capture emotionally. It is very short in duration – in Israel is only one day while in the Diaspora is two days – and in many respects is over before we can make any valid assessment of its importance and impact. In the Torah itself it appears as an agricultural holiday occurring fifty days after the holiday of national freedom, Pesach. By...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BAMIDBAR

The necessity to continually count the Jewish people, evidenced in this week’s Torah reading and, in fact, in the balance of the text of the remainder of this book of the Torah, remains a perplexing issue. The rabbis of the Talmud and the later commentators to the Torah saw this continual counting of the Jewish people as a sign of God’s love for Israel. A person who has rare valuables or...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RETURNING HOME

I recently returned home to my residence in Jerusalem after an extended stay in the United States. Returning home has always been a difficult and challenging exercise for me. It is not only the enormous amount of mail that seemingly awaits my attention or the frantic messages left on my Israeli phone – most of which are unimportant or now irrelevant – as much as it is the necessary...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’HAR – B’CHKOTAI

The book of Vayikra, which contains so many detailed commandments and minute details of ritual within it, concludes with a broad view and general description of Jewish faith. It restates the original premise of Bereshith, that the earth and its inhabitants belong to God and are free agents as to the limits that God has imposed upon them. The basic premise is that “the earth belongs to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert