Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

SHEMOT

It should be obvious to all that Moshe is a very unlikely choice to head the Jewish people, to redeem them from Egyptian bondage, and to bring the Torah down from Heaven to the Jewish people and eventually to all of humankind. It is also clear that Moshe would not be the likely one to guide them through the vicissitudes of war, thirst and forty years sojourn in the desert of Sinai. Rambam...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ON BEING CURRENTLY RELEVANT

The “hot-button” topics in our ever-changing society rarely have much staying power. They seem somehow to fizzle out of their own accord, having made a lot of noise, spawning countless op-ed pontifications but rarely leading to substantive change or benefit in our lives and societies. The main issue facing world Jewry is its shrinking population due to the ravages of assimilation and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYECHI

The conclusion of the book of Bereshith reaches its climax this week with the recording for us of the death of our father Yaakov and of Yosef. The era of the founders of our people ended in relative tranquility and contentment, albeit on foreign soil. It will be a long and arduous journey for the descendants of Yaakov to return home to the Land of Israel. A dark and forbidding era is about...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KEEPING OUR DISTANCE

It seems fairly obvious to me that American Jewry should stay out of Israeli politics and that Israeli politicians should stay out of the affairs of American Jewry. However, our politicians somehow feel impelled to visit America as often as they can and to act or pontificate on all sorts of matters over which they have little knowledge or deep understanding. We should agree in advance that...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIGASH

The opening verses of this week's Torah reading are among the most dramatic and challenging in the entire Torah. Two great, powerful personalities in the house of the children of Yaakov, Yehudah and Yosef, engage in a clash and debate of epic proportions, regarding the release of their brother Binyamin. At first glance it seems obvious that Yosef has the upper hand in his struggle. After...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MIKETZ

The dreamer is about to be saved by dreams, albeit not the ones that he dreamt but rather those of an unlikely stranger – the Pharaoh of Egypt himself. But dreams are dreams and often times they do not coincide with human reality. What makes Yosef so extraordinary in the eyes of Pharaoh was his ability to, so to speak, dream along with Pharaoh, interpret his dreams and translate them into...

Posted in:
by
Faigie Gilbert

CHANUKA TODAY

The Maccabees of old lived in a very fortuitous time. Had they lived today they would be accused of extrajudicial executions of the poor Syrian Greeks who, after all, were only trying to kill them and improve their civilization. At least that is certainly how the Foreign Minister of Sweden would have seen the matter. But since Sweden at that time was inhabited by pagan tribes and there was no...

Posted in:
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYESHEV

Our father Yaakov finally makes it home to the Land of Israel, the land promised by God to his ancestors…that their descendants would inherit and dwell therein. Rashi, according to rabbinic tradition, portrays our great patriarch as somehow viewing his return to the Land of Israel as being the final chapter in his difficult and turbulent life. The Land of Israel, so to speak, is perceived...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

FASCINATIONS

Parts of the Moslem world are currently experiencing a morbid fascination with death – their own and that of others. There is no long-term strategy to the terror that grips Western society and all of us here in the State of Israel. Stabbing a soldier or running down a policeman or pedestrian with an automobile has no strategic value and, in reality, accomplishes nothing for the cause of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HOORAY FOR THE MURDERERS

The trend over the past century and especially in our current twisted times has been to try to discover the motives that drive people to kill other people. The victims being killed are many times unknown to their killers and are personally innocent of any guilt in their death. Their fault lay in being of a certain race, nationality, religious belief and even simply (and unfortunately) being in...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein