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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

The Good Old Days

Sunday, January 19, 2020

I have noticed that as I become older and older, the good old days become ‘gooder and gooder.’ Now naturally we are all victims of selective memory and warm nostalgia, nevertheless as I have just returned from a family wedding in the United States, I am definitely under the impression that the good old days of American society were surely better than the current state of political and societal turmoil that now afflicts the country. Where all of this will end, if it does end at all, is shrouded in the mystery of future events. There is no question that the Jewish community is besieged by danger and insecurity. When I was younger there was always anti-Semitism in America but it was...

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Vaeira

Sunday, January 19, 2020

This week’s Torah reading contains the four famous words of redemption that signal the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. Much has been made over the centuries as to the meaning and implication of each of these four Hebrew verbs. The fact that there are four such words used in the narrative of redemption fits the pattern that we find in the Hagaddah of Pesach – four sons, four questions, four cups of wine. None of this is naturally random chance. That is not the way of the Torah or of the tradition of Rabbinic commentary and understanding of the words of the Torah. Since there are 70 facets to all Torah words and thoughts, the use of these four verbs contains different...

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