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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

NASSO

In this week’s parsha the Torah highlights the special role and status of the tribe of Levi. They are counted separately from the rest of the tribes of Israel. Their status in society is that they are engaged in work in the Temple, have their own separate cities distributed throughout the Land of Israel and are to be supported by the tithe (ten percent of the crop produced from the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

BAMIDBAR

The count of the Jewish people as it appears in this week’s parsha is always a difficult issue to appreciate and understand. What are we to learn from all of the detailed descriptions and seemingly exact numbers? The general lesson that every Jew counts – and is to be counted, is most apparent. But that lesson can be learned from a much more concise précis of the population of the Jews...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

IT IS ALWAYS OUR FAULT

Part of the fallout from the ill-starred negotiations that recently ended in failure is that somehow blame for this failure cannot be laid at the door of the facilitator, the American State Department and its Secretary of State, but rather it must be assigned to the participants themselves. Originally, President Obama seemed to be even- handed in blaming both participants for the failure of this...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BECHUKOTAI

The Torah completes the book of Vayikra in a very stark and disturbing manner. It describes in great detail the negative face of Jewish uniqueness and its special role in human affairs. The Jewish nation is blessed beyond all others but it is also held to a very rigorous standard. Though it is difficult for us ordinary mortals to justify logically in our minds the events of a 1900 year exile...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE UNTIMED GAME

This article is being written while I am still in the United States on my extended May visit. At this time of the year the attention of many Americans is diverted from such minor issues such as Iran, North Korea, Ukraine and a very sluggish job market to concentrating on the major spring-summer-fall sport of baseball. Baseball, like its British cousin cricket, is a game that has no time...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

בחוקותי

התורה חותמת את ספר ויקרא באופן חד ומטריד מאוד. היא מתארת בפירוט רב את הפן השלילי של הייחוד היהודי ואת תפקידו המיוחד בענייני האדם. העם היהודי התברך יותר מכל עם אחר, אך הוא גם נדרש לעמוד באמות מידה קפדניות מאוד. קשה אמנם...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

משחק ללא הגבלת זמן

המאמר הזה נכתב בזמן שאני עדיין בארה"ב, בביקור מתמשך. בעונה זו של השנה תשומת לבם של אמריקנים רבים מוסטת מזוטות כמו איראן, צפון קוריאה, אוקראינה ושוק התעסוקה החלש ועוברת להתמקד בעונת הבייסבול שנמשכת מהאביב עד סוף הסתיו. ...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’HAR

The Mountain of Sinai occupies a most central place in Jewish history. The actual geographical location of the mountain itself is somewhat in doubt but its place in human civilization is cemented in memory. The Mountain of Sinai is no longer a definite place as much as it is a symbol of God’s revelation to humans and the granting of a moral code to humanity. And the conduit for the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE EYES HAVE IT

Among the many positive attributes that my great-grandchildren possess is that many of them have unusually beautiful eyes. This is especially true of the female branch of our family. And that is truly fortunate, for the Talmud teaches us that a woman who possesses beautiful eyes needs no further inspection – one can be assured that she is of exceptional quality. The Torah points out that...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CHANGEABLE WEATHER

The month of April has always been conspicuous for the uncertainty of its weather. But now that we are safely ensconced in the month of May, the regularity of warmth for the next many months has been established. In spite of all of the hype concerning global warming (now currently called climate change since there is no data confirming that we are actually warmer than we were decades ago)...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein