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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

GRIDLOCK

Sunday, November 10, 2019

One of the most dreaded situations motorists are forced to face is that of complete gridlock. This usually occurs when there is very heavy traffic, with the inherent frustration involved in trying to move forward, when motorists find themselves in the middle of the road with traffic blocked on their left and right. This inevitably leads to loud honking from all sides and only further frustrates the already short tempered and nervous drivers involved. Sometimes this situation is made even worse when there are police present who are attempting to direct the traffic. Often this only complicates and confuses the situation. This past holiday of Sukkot here in Jerusalem, because we were...

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VAYERA

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Mishnah in Avot specifically, and Jewish tradition generally, instructs us that our father Abraham was constantly challenged with great tests in life and was able to survive and surmount all of them. There is an underlying difficulty to this narrative regarding the testing of Abraham. God after all is omniscient and knows well in advance what the reaction of Abraham will be to all the challenges that are placed before him. This being the case, then one can easily ask why bother presenting those challenges in the first place. This fits in to the general question that Maimonides deals with when he attempts to reconcile God's omniscience with the presence of human free will and free...

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