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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

VAYISHLACH

I have always wondered why the Mishnah in Avot singled out our father Avraham as being the person who was tested ten times in his lifetime rather than concentrating on the life of our father Yaakov who, as related in this week’s Torah reading, underwent so many tests and misfortunes. Yaakov finally escapes the clutches of Lavan only to be confronted by the threat of Eisav attempting to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE IRRELEVANCE OF IT ALL

In attempting to be currently relevant, in the long view of history and human events, is the danger of becoming totally irrelevant. This occurs when dealing with transient issues, when a long-term view is what is really necessary. By reading and listening to the media, the bloggers, and the party and convention planners among us, one would believe that the fate of the Jewish people, the State of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYETZEI

Rashi comments regarding the opening word of this week’s Torah reading that when a righteous person departs from a community, the loss is noticeable and is damaging to that community. In most instances, the community or even the righteous person’s own family and friends, pay little attention to his or her presence while the person is amongst them. It is only when that person is no longer...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DISAPPOINTMENTS

Disappoints are almost always based on the failure of people, technological gadgets or public policies to live up to expectations. Therefore, the higher the expectations are, the greater the disappointments. Because we invest so much confidence and hope in our political leaders, we are invariably doomed to disappointment and frustration when they turn out to be merely fallible human beings. ...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TOLDOT

This week's Torah reading continually raises for us the unbelievable fact that two such divergent personalities and worldviews could have been raised in the house of Yitzhak and Rivkah. We can understand how a person such as Yaakov could have come from their home. After all, he is studious, serious and obedient to the wishes of his parents, especially to those of his mother. He is not an...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

WHO KNOWS TWELVE?

In the interests if transparency and honesty, let me state at the outset here that this brilliant essay is completely self-serving and personally motivated. But nevertheless it does, in my opinion, contain ideas and insights that may prove worthwhile to my long-suffering loyal readers. The name of my newly published book is “Who Knows Twelve – Insights and Values From the Book of Trei-Asar...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CHAYEI SARAH

The entire cycle of human life is portrayed for us in this week’s Torah reading. The first part of the parsha deals with the inevitable reality of human mortality. The Torah teaches us the concept of Jewish burial – its simplicity and honesty, and the restorative treatment of grief. Avraham mourns the loss of his life’s companion and support. The Torah does not tell us what he said in...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE SAME OLD SCRIPT

For about the last century, the Arabs have played out the same script over and over again in their attempt to destroy Jewish control over the Land of Israel. And that script is basically to inspire their religiously fanatical followers to riot and kill Jews randomly with no strategic or tactical benefit to their cause. The rallying cry has always been that somehow the Jews intend to physically...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYERA

At first glance it may appear that the commitment between God and Avraham described in the opening words of this week's Torah reading is in the nature of a singular and one-off event. There are various interpretations amongst scholars of Israel and the commentators to the Torah as to the level of prophecy that our father Avraham attained. The appearance of angels in the form of human wanderers...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LECH LECHA

The patternf or the life of our father Abraham and our mother Sarah is set in the opening word's of this week's Torah reading. They, the progenitors of the Jewish people and the parents of all nations are destined to be travelers for all of their lives. The truth is that all of us are travelers on the journey of our lives. The difference is whether we have a clear idea of our destination and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein