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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BALAK

Sunday, July 14, 2024

There is an eternal debate amongst philosophers and criminologists as to whether the mob boss or the actual hit man is most culpable in the murder of a rival gang leader. Though both are certainly morally guilty, the question as to which one bears the legal onus for the crime, absent statutory law on the matter, is an issue of discussion and differing opinions. In Judaism there is a concept “that there is no excuse of agency present when a sin or crime is being committed.” This means that the hit man who pulled the trigger or planted the explosive is certainly the more guilty party, in such a scenario of an ordered murder. In the words of the Talmud “regarding the instructions...

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CHUKAT

Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Torah interrupts, so to speak, its narrative of the events that befell the Jewish people in the desert with the description of a commandment that admittedly has no rational human understanding in logical terms. Even the great King Solomon, the wisest and most analytical of all humans, was forced to admit that understanding this parsha of the Torah was beyond his most gifted intellect and talents. If the Torah is meant to instruct us in life and its values, to improve and influence our behavior and lifestyle and to help us achieve our goal of being a holy people then why insert this parsha in the Torah when it can seemingly have no practical impact on our daily life or broaden our...

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