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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

CHANUKAH

There probably is no other holiday on the Jewish calendar that has had as much material written about it than the Chanukah festival. There are many causes and reasons for this seeming anomaly of a relatively minor rabbinic holiday receiving so much attention. The fact that by the nature of the calendar it falls in the month of December, and especially this year when it actually coincides with the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

VAYEISHEV

Modern writers and commentators have found the biblical narratives of the book of Bereshith irresistible in their penchant for psychoanalyzing people described there in terms of modern understanding and current correctness. In so doing they do a great disservice to Jewish tradition and present a distorted picture of the message that the Bible is attempting to convey. The narrative regarding...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CONSISTENCY

Consistency, like many other character traits in life that are primarily positive, can turn into a negative trait if carried to an extreme. We are all aware that consistency is essential to good parenting, meaningful education, business and commercial success, as well as to political and governmental stability. Consistency is not necessarily doing things by rote. It is rather the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

COLLEGE CAMPUSES

Recently there have appeared in a number of newspapers throughout the United States articles detailing the appalling anti-Semitism that exists currently on many American college campuses. American Jewish youth attend colleges and universities in greater proportion to their population than any other segment of the American public. It can be maintained that theoretically and proportionately...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYISHLACH

The prophet of Israel, describing what can unfortunately be characterized as the usual situation in Jewish life, states that it is comparable to one who flees from the lion and finds one's self in the embrace of a bear. Our father Jacob, who barely escapes from the treachery of Lavan, soon finds himself confronted by the deadly mob of his brother Eisav. Jacob, in his confrontation with Lavan,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYEITZEI

Yaakov is forced to flee from home and family because of the threat that his brother Eisav poses. He is informed by his mother that his brother, in a moment of jealousy, frustration and anger, threatened to kill him. Yaakov is no physical weakling; he is not the pale yeshiva student, the caricature of nineteenth century Haskalah literature. In fact, we see in this week's Torah reading the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DIFFICULT DECISIONS

Part of the tradition of rabbinic jurisprudence is that courts of law should attempt at almost all costs to arrive at a compromise/arbitration decision rather than attempt to enforce the letter of the law. This is undoubtedly because of the fact that true justice is often beyond the abilities and capabilities of ordinary humans. In all major decisions in life there are always, so to speak,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUPPLY AND DEMAND

As we all have been taught in our study of elementary economics, prices and values are established by the law of supply and demand. In theory, the greater the supply, the lower the price. We are witness to this fact of commerce in the current, still relatively inexpensive price of oil, due to the glut of all oil available on the world market. This rule of commerce – supply and demand –...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TOLDOT

The lives of our ancestors Yitzchak and Rivkah, the educational direction that they gave to their sons and their differing views of their household, are the subjects of biblical commentary throughout the ages. In our time a more intense psychological examination has dominated modern commentary, even traditional rabbinic commentary. The reason for this is the perplexing dichotomy of life and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LOOKING AT GENERATIONS

On my recent visit to America I availed myself of the opportunity to visit with many of my grandchildren and great grandchildren. The great grandchildren are still mainly too young to recognize me and appreciate my connection to them. As one of them so succinctly put it when he was informed that I was his zaydie: “But I already have two zaidies!” So the experience and its meaning currently is...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein