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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

KI TISA

This week’s parsha illustrates the problem that the Jewish people have with unlimited prosperity. With their pockets bursting with the wealth of Egypt and eating free food day in and day out, and with their wealth burning a hole in their pockets, they looked for expression to their newfound prosperity. And so the story of the Golden Calf follows. There are many explanations offered by the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

BERNIE

I rarely if ever write about politicians. Politics always dominates the news because it is at one and the same time very personal and nevertheless very consequential nationally and internationally. But it is a pretty vicious sport, so my pacifist nature overrules my otherwise inquisitive nature. But there is a phenomenon in the American political scene that I feel is worthy of my commenting on...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TETZAVEH

Almost the entire Torah reading of this week concerns itself in great detail with the garments of Aharon and his descendants as they performed their duties first in the Mishkan/Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. The obvious question is why should the Torah devote so much space and detail to such a technical matter. Of what major significance is what those garments looked like and of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

There is traditional opinion in the works of the commentators to Torah that the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle was a form of atonement for the sin of the Jewish people in erecting and worshipping the Golden Calf. So to speak, gold atones for gold. Gold well spent on holiness and goodness atones for gold badly misspent on idolatry and wanton behavior. This idea is very much in line...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE

Recently, the Secretary General of the United Nations commented, at last, on all of the terrorism against Israeli citizens perpetrated by many Palestinians. In essence, he said that the Israelis had it coming to them since they have been unable to satisfy all of the outrageous demands of the Palestinians that would automatically bring peace and light to our troubled land. Both the Prime...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

WINTER BLUES

Having lived in Israel for the past nineteen years, memories of winter in Monsey, New York have faded from my memory. That is not all that has faded from my memory but that is a different matter for a different discussion. Finding myself in Monsey at this time of the year, I have been experiencing weather that has been cold and very snowy. It is mid-winter here in the northeastern part of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

One would perhaps have thought that after the exalted experience of God’s revelation at Mount Sinai, the Torah would proceed to portray the idyllic life that Torah represents, both spiritually and physically. Instead, this week’s Torah reading describes a rather fractured world – one of slavery, criminal behavior, property disputes, physical assaults and negligent behavior. Would it not...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

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