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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

LOST IN CYBERSPACE

To help me with my weakening eyesight I purchased an iPad last week. After having my resident expert set the gadget up with the necessary applications, I began to enjoy this new wonder of our age. One of the applications installed on my iPad is Microsoft Word. I like the keyboard of the iPad as I find it easier to see the letters than on my regular computer keyboard. So I wrote my usual...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAZRIA

The ritual of circumcision has been one of the basic institutions of Jewish life since the beginnings of our familial and national existence. It is this covenant of our father Avraham which has always been a testament to the eternity of the Jewish people, to its heritage and identity. As in the case of Avraham circumcising his son Yitzchak on the eighth day after the infant’s birth, the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

POST-PURIM HANGOVER

Now that the holiday of Purim is safely behind us, many find themselves suffering from a state we call the hangover. There are those who are suffering from this hangover in a literal sense – too much drink, too much food…just too much. Well, a long nap and an analgesic to soothe the stomach and a cold compress for the headache will eventually provide relief for this type of post-Purim...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHMINI

The temptations of power are great. When one achieves notoriety, success and exalted public service there is always a danger that hubris and unnecessary behavior will take over. This is true even regarding great, noble and holy people. The adage that power corrupts has remained one of the truisms of all of human behavior throughout the ages. When the Torah describes the death of the two sons...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TZAV

The parsha deals initially with the concept of an eternal flame or light that would continually be present on the holy altar in the Mishkan/Tabernacle. This is not the sole instance in the Torah where this concept of an eternal flame, fire or light is discussed. The great golden candelabra in the Mishkan/Tabernacle was also to have one light that was to be deemed an eternal light that was never...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

PURIM – II

The story of Purim takes place about 2500 years ago in the, long ago, almost forgotten, Persian Empire. Yet this ancient tale remains instructive to this very day. The details of the plot of the story, as recorded for us in the book of Esther, are well known to all. However, the implications and eternal lessons of those details and the overall story itself must be relearned in every...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIKRA

The Torah in this week’s parsha identifies human beings with the word nefesh. There is no exact translation of this word in English that captures the nuances associated with the word in its Hebrew form. The word certainly implies a much more spiritual, soulful, ethereal human being than the flesh and blood physical being that we usually associate with people. The Torah seems to imply that...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PURIM

The Purim story is a collection of unlikely events and almost irrational decisions by all parties involved in this drama. There is ample evidence of the mercurial instability of Achashveirosh and of the diabolical wickedness of Haman. What is however the most perplexing, of all of the behavior of the major participants in the story, is that of Mordecai. What impels him to publicly disobey...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PEKUDEI

The end of the book of Shemot describes the culmination of the events of the exodus from Egypt, the revelation at Sinai and the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle. All of these events are certainly on the positive side of the historical ledger. On the other side of that historical ledger sheet that the book of Shemot represents there is the sin of the Golden Calf and the constant carping and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BETTER TIMES

One of the more memorable sentences in modern English literature is: “It was the best of all times; it was the worst of all times.” This view of life and current society is a variant on the theme of the half empty, half-full glass conundrum. In effect, there are always opposing views as to the state of humanity, society and for us, the Jewish people the world over, in any given generation. In...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein