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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PURIM

The Megillah of Esther itself tells us that the memory and commemoration of the days of Purim will continue until eternity and never disappear from Jewish life. Extraordinarily, the Talmud expands this statement to mean that even at the end of days when the other commandments of the Torah may no longer be necessary because of the exalted state of spirituality within the Jewish nation and mankind...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TETZAVEH – ZACHOR

Although it is obvious from the context of the previous parts of the Torah that when the Torah states “and you shall command” the you referred to is Moshe, nevertheless the name of Moshe does not appear in this week's Torah reading. Many explanations, ideas and commentaries have been advanced over the ages as to why his name is absent from this portion of the Torah. His name is so...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

A LITTLE TOO JEWISH

There were a number of articles written here in the Israeli newspapers about the determined opposition of Reform in America to the appointment of David Friedman as the American ambassador to Israel. The shameful behavior of a number of Jews at the Senate confirmation hearing of Friedman – shofar blowing and all – only points out the great fault line that exists in American Jewish society...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

One of the great deficiencies and dangers that face organized religions, and certainly Judaism as well, is its necessary connection to fundraising. In a perfect world, religion would be completely separate from the necessity to obtain and dispense money – in fact, from any monetary consideration whatsoever. However since this perfect world has not yet been achieved, the problems and influence...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LOST KEYS

A short time ago I was attempting to lock the gates that provide entry into my apartment from the elevator. With my current usual fumbling self, the keys – precious as they are – fell from my hand. There is a very small opening between the edge of the elevator and floor of my apartment, so small that one hardly takes notice of it. Nevertheless, my keys found that aperture and with a thud came...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

The Talmud develops for us the complex laws that are laid out here in this week’s Torah reading. In fact, a great proportion of the tractates of the Talmud are involved in explaining the words, ideas and practical implications of the verses that appear in this week’s Torah reading. Judaism is a religion of behavior and practicality and not only of soaring spirituality and otherworldly...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PASSWORDS

In a moment of extreme foolishness I recently attempted to pay a credit card bill online through my computer. People of my generation should avoid such risky and dangerous behavior. The computer arrogantly demanded a password in order to log into my account. It also condescendingly informed me that I already had a password and that I should really type it in to get started paying my bill. I...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

The idea of a multilayered judicial system is advanced in this week's Torah reading by Yitro, the father-in-law of Moshe. As it appears in the Torah, Moshe originally envisioned himself as being the sole judge of the Jewish people and that all matters, great and petty, should be brought before him for judgment and decision. Yitro advises him that neither he nor the people would survive under...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’SHALACH

This week’s Torah reading mentions the eternal problem that all fundraisers for institutions face – namely, that though one may have been successful in raising great sums of money for buildings, it is much more difficult to raise funds for the necessary daily maintenance of the institution and for the salaries of those who are involved with it on a daily basis. The Jewish people truly...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHABBAT FOOD

One of the many distinctive features about the holy day of Shabbat is its full menu. This naturally varies among the different ethnic groups that comprise the Jewish people. As a descendant of Lithuanian Eastern European Jews, I actually associate Shabbat with gefilte fish, chicken soup and hot cholent. Now that may not have been the menu for Jews in Yemen or in Iraq, and I readily acknowledge...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein