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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

THAT IS WHAT IT IS

There is a great mantra that is repeated very often in Israeli society that basically states “That is what it is.” Basically it is a stoic observation of the never-ending problems, challenges, disappointments and frustrations of life. Many if not even most of these issues are far beyond one’s ability to change or influence. That fact many times serves to make those problems and frustrations...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LECH LECHA

Our father Avraham is an inveterate wanderer. For a great deal of his life he is a traveller, always an immigrant in a new and alien society. Though he is recognized and respected as being a prince of God and a special person, an asset to any society in which he chooses to dwell, he still remains the eternal “outsider.” He constantly hears, reverberating in his mind, God’s original...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

A TALE OF TWO SEATS

I recently flew to the United States from Israel. For various undoubtedly good and sundry reasons that I was unaware of – though many of my fellow passengers who “know” everything about everything had various and conflicting stories as to the cause – El Al was flying a Portuguese airplane and crew on this flight. The airplane was not the one I was familiar with and my seat though being in...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOACH

It is understandably easy to become disgusted with human beings, with society and with the behavior of individuals. Over the many millennia, from the days of Noach until today, human history is a litany of violence, war, massacres of innocents, corruption, false idols, bankrupt ideals and constant strife. Europe has not known a war-free time for many centuries. The very agencies created by...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DOING BETTER

In a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal one of the opinion writers for that esteemed newspaper wrote a thoughtful piece about his feelings as he embarked on the annual fast day of holiness. The main thrust of his article was that American society can and should do better. It should produce better candidates for the presidency, it should be a more robust society, it should be...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

BERESHITH

One of the wisest and most astute comments of the rabbis of the Talmud regarding life is that “ all new beginnings are difficult.” That certainly is true regarding the beginning of human civilization as described for us in this week’s Torah reading. Everything that seemingly could go wrong did go wrong. Death, murder, fratricide, autocracy and oppression all make their due appearance in...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

VZOT HABRACHA

Rashi points out that the blessings of Moshe to the Jewish people are based upon and mirror those of Yaakov as recorded for us at the end of the book of Bereshith. There are blessings that are eternal and always valid. There are those that are contemporary to the times in which they were given but have little relevance to other times. The blessings of both Yaakov and Moshe are of two individual...

Posted in:
Bible/ Tanach
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUCCOT

The festival of Succot marks the culmination, so to speak, of the holy month of Tishrei. Though all of the festivals of the Jewish year retain a solemnity regarding their observance, the festival of Succot is marked as being a time of joy and celebration. The natural beauty of the holiday, as it is accompanied by the climate and agricultural bounty of the Land of Israel, enhances the celebration...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU

Haazinu is a poem with definite stanzas. It is one of the few places in the Torah where Jewish law dictates where the stops in the Torah reading should take place. This is done in order to retain the integrity of the poetic form of the reading. Aside from the aesthetic value of poetry itself, the Torah wishes to emphasize to us that there is a rhythm, order and cadence in life that influences us...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH

Moshe’s fixation with the covenant between God and Israel, so evident in the Torah readings of the past two weeks, continues apace this week. Only now there is a note of desperation in Moshe’s words and tone. He bluntly states that he knows that after his death the Jewish people will shirk the obligations of the covenant and fall prey to worshiping false gods and non-Jewish values. No...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein