Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

RIVALRIES

Being raised as an only child in my parents’ home I was spared the experiences and challenges of sibling rivalries. Not having anyone to compete with I was blissfully unaware that there were others who felt that they were also entitled to parental love, weekly allowances and unlimited bathroom privileges. No one ever dared to wear my clothing, play with my toys or read my books without my...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

The mores present in today’s Western world seem to suggest that the Ten Commandments are, at best, recommendations but certainly not legal or moral mandatory obligations. The commandments that relate to money and to sexual probity are publicly violated, almost with impunity, on a seemingly daily basis. This is true with regard to all religious groups, including ours as well. One would have...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

BSHALACH

There is a great difference in the perception of a momentous historic event, between the generation that actually experienced it, was witness to and perhaps even participated in it, and later generations who know of the event through tradition and history. The facts regarding events can be transmitted from one generation to the next, even for thousands of years, but the emotional quality, the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE NON-SLIP TALIT

A dear friend and rabbinic colleague of mine casually mentioned to me that as a gift for his birthday his wife presented him with a new tallit - the kind that does not constantly slip off of one’s shoulders when in prayerful use. I was intrigued by this revelation on two counts. There are still spouses around who give each other birthday gifts?! And, secondly, is it possible that technology has...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BO

As the drama of the Exodus from Egypt draws nearer its climax in this week’s Torah reading, one cannot help but be struck by the stubbornness of Pharaoh in the face of all of the plagues visited upon him and his nation. His advisers had long before told him that all was lost and that he should cut his losses quickly by freeing the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. This seemingly wise and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DENIERS AND IGNORERS

I wrote an article last week about the strange Holocaust deniers who exist in the world, inside and outside of our Jewish camp and even in our religious world. The motives that drive such people are diverse and often perverse. They range from the smugness of knowing what God’s plans are and the assurance that those plans must somehow conform to one’s own preconceived assessment as to how...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE NEWEST HOLOCAUST DENIERS

I rarely if ever comment or disagree with pronouncements or public statements of other rabbis. These are people who are driven to publicity and even sensationalism and I never feel inclined to spoil their fun. However, every so often there comes along a rabbinic pronouncement so outrageous and damaging that even my reticent nature forces me to respond. A rabbi is reported in public print and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LEADERSHIP

The fact that the current Torah readings concentrate on the life and career of Moshe as being the all-time supreme leader of the Jewish people, and through them of civilization generally, caused me to give some thought to the trait of leadership. We always think of leadership as a positive trait. Yet, some of the most charismatic and successful leaders of nations and empires have been very bad...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Vaeira

The comparison of the complaint of Moshe to God about His lack of compassion regarding the enslaved and persecuted Jews in Egypt, to the more sanguine acceptance of God’s will by the patriarchs of Israel of an earlier generation is somewhat puzzling. Moshe’s complaint is really a cry of anguish and pain over the desperate situation of the Jews in Egyptian bondage rather than a statement of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HATERS AND PROBLEMS

Hate is a very powerful emotion. It generates skewed vision, violent behavior, and in historical terms, national and personal disasters. There are many causes for hatred. Jealousy, indoctrination, feelings of revenge and suspicions (many times completely unfounded)are just a few. But the most lethal forms of hatred that usually unleash killing and mayhem are those that are religiously or...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein