Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

CHUKAT

The unraveling of the destiny of the generation of Jews that left Egypt reaches its climax in the Torah reading of this week. All of the leaders of the people will not bring them to the promised land of Israel. This is true not only of the leaders of the individual tribes in the desert but even Moshe and Aharon are doomed not to witness the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel. The...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KORACH

It is always astounding to see and realize how ego, turf and ambition can blind even great people who are otherwise wise and even pious personalities. Human society suffers greatly from this phenomenon and religious society is not exempt from its erroneous consequences. In fact, religious society is more susceptible to these ills simply because character failings can be wrapped in piety with the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

JUST CANNOT LET GO

Ideologies and long-held beliefs die hard, even when they have long been surpassed by events and circumstances. Those who believed in them and promulgated them find it difficult, if not impossible, to adjust to the reality of the current actual situation. There are many examples of this present in today's world. There still are anarchists and Marxists in academia and in other influential...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

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