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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

CHAYEI SARAH

The loss of one’s beloved spouse, especially after many years and decades of marriage and shared life, is always a traumatic and shattering blow. Those of us, who unfortunately have also experienced this in our own lives, can testify as to the emotional damage and even physical harm that this sad experience can occasion. We see from the life of our father Jacob that even decades later he...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

IKEA

The Swedish furniture maker IKEA made the headlines this past week, even though it was an innocent bystander to the war of words between the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his female Swedish counterpart. Reacting to Sweden's recognition of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, Lieberman caustically said that “the Middle East and the Palestinian – Israeli dispute is slightly...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYERA

For the Jewish people, one of the hallmarks of our great founding parents was their ability to maintain communication with their Creator. God, so to speak, was a constant living presence in their lives, thoughts and actions. And they were able to hear God’s voice, though God has no voice, and to visualize God even though God has no physical appearance. God spoke to them through the inner voice...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

KLINGHOFFER

An elderly, crippled, wheel chair bound Jew by the name of Klinghoffer was thrown overboard from a cruise ship by Arab terrorists about a decade ago. Klinghoffer’s only crime was that he was Jewish. These facts are uncontested and well-documented. Nevertheless, in the name of artistic freedom, a play was written that justified the murderous deed and intimated that Klinghoffer’s murder was...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LECH LECHA

Relocating one's self is a challenging task at any age. Doing so in the later stages of life is doubly challenging. It is no wonder that the rabbis of the Mishnah characterized our father Avraham’s move from Mesopotamia to the Land of Israel as being one of the ten major tests of his turbulent life. Leaving all that is familiar and attempting to integrate one's self in a new and strange...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE RESIDUE OF THE GREAT WAR

What is Europe’s problem and hang up with the State of Israel? Why is it so focused on this Middle Eastern conflict, almost to the exclusion of other seemingly greater issues closer to home? Anti-Semitism certainly plays a role in this European fixation regarding Israel but I do not believe that it is the sole, and perhaps not even the main catalyst driving European policies, statements and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOACH

The main character described in this week's Torah reading is naturally Noach himself. I think that the Torah wishes to illustrate, through Noach’s personality and his reactions to the impending disaster and to the world afterwards - the challenges of being a survivor. Everyone who has ever survived a serious challenge or tragedy replays in one's mind what might have been done differently,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BERESHITH

In the whirlwind cascade of events that fill this opening parsha of the Torah, one can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of subjects discussed. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, after they exercised their free will to disobey God's commandment, is an important issue to dwell upon and discuss. What life was like within...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VZOT HABRACHA

Very shortly we will conclude the reading of the Torah cycle for this year. The Torah ends with the description of the passing of Moshe. The Torah pointedly tells us that there never will be another Moshe. We are also taught that there will never be another generation such as the generation of Jews that were redeemed from Egypt and who accepted the Torah on Mount Sinai. And, we are also taught...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUKKOTH

After the tension filled solemnity of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the holiday of Sukkoth arrives with its many inspiring rituals and its message of joy and rejoicing in the service of God. It is regarding Sukkoth that the Torah instructs us “to be joyful on your holiday.” Now, joy, like almost all other emotions is not something that can be turned on and off like a faucet. A person...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert