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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

LECH LECHA

Why is Avraham so special? The Torah does not grant him the complimentary adjectives that it lavished upon Noach at the beginning of last week’s parsha. His willingness to die on behalf of his belief in one God at the test of the furnace of Ur Casdim is not even mentioned in the Torah text. It was only inferred by the rabbis from tradition and a reference to one word – Ur – in the text...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

FLOODS AND ARKS

The Torah’s recitation of the events of the great flood and of Noach’s ark is well known to all of us, no matter our position on the religious spectrum of Jewish life. In reviewing human history since that time, it seems pretty accurate that we are always somehow perched on the precipice of a great cataclysmic event of horrendous consequences, whether man made, natural, or of climatic...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOACH

The usual take on Noach seems to be that even though he was himself a righteous individual he really is not to be overly commended since he was unable – some say even unwilling – to save his generation from the cataclysm of the flood. Since the opinions of the rabbis and the sages of Israel over all of the ages is pretty much divided on how to deal with Noach – especially vis a vis...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BERESHITH

The Midrash teaches us that when God, so to speak, consulted in heaven as to whether or not to create humans, four representatives presented their views to the Almighty. By the way, this Midrash is a very instructive way to begin to understand the role of Midrash generally in rabbinic writing. The rabbis always wish to express deep philosophic ideas, conundrums and contradictions that we...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SIMCHAT TORAH – V’ZOT HABRACHA

The completion of any significant portion of Torah learning is always an occasion for Jewish celebration. Any siyum (a completion of a tractate of Talmud or Mishna) is usually accompanied by a feast to help commemorate the happy event. There is a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment at having seen a difficult intellectual and time consuming task to its successful...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUCCOT

One of the many great advantages of commemorating Succot here in Israel is the ease and ability that one has to sleep in the succah. Coming from the freezing climes of Chicago and Monsey in the United States the ability to sleep in the succah was almost always negated by the inclement weather. In those years many a bowl of soup congealed as my family and I tried to eat while all...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

יום הכיפורים

שורש הסליחה סליחה היא דבר שקשה לקבל וקשה לא פחות לתת. לכן תמיד יש בעיה, תיאולוגית ומעשית, להגיע למצב של סליחה. עוולות ופגיעות אישיות צורבות את הנפש ואת הנשמה צריבה עמוקה. טינה על עוול, אמיתי או מדומה, שנעשה לנו, מבעבע...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YOM KIPPUR

Forgiveness is a trait that is hard to receive and equally difficult to dispense. It is always a problem – theological and practical – how forgiveness is to be achieved. Personal hurts and wrongs burn deeply into our psyches and souls. Resentments at wrongs – real or imagined - done to us by others, fester within us and are deeply attached to our attitudes and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

האזינו

שבת שובה משה קורא לשמים ולארץ להאזין לדבריו על נצחיות הברית בין הקב"ה לעם ישראל, ברית שהשפיעה על ההיסטוריה האנושית כולו זה יותר משלושת אלפים שנה. אך בכל הכבוד, לא רק השמים והארץ צריכים להאזין בתשומת לב לדבריו של...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU – SHUVAH

Moshe calls upon heaven and earth to hear his message of the eternity of the covenant between God and Israel, a covenant that has influenced all of human history for over three millennia. But with all due respect, it is not only the heavens and earth that need to listen and pay attention to Moshe’s message. Rather, it is for us, the people of Israel that needs to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein