Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BAMIDBAR

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I realize that I am making a very bad pun, but I must state that numbers really do count. The Torah takes us through the counting of the Jewish people many times and in detail. Though it may be difficult for us to understand why this should be so, the basic lesson that it teaches us is an important one for national survival. Simply put, we are being instructed that for Judaism and Jewishness to survive there must be a significant Jewish population. The Jewish people have always been a small people, numerically speaking, and since they suffered great persecution and attempts at extermination, maintaining significant numbers has always been a challenge and a necessity for Jewish survival....

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AVOT

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Both the Mishnah and Talmud are unique in their style of composition for in effect it allows the students thousands of years later to feel as though they have entered into that ancient study hall to hear the discussion of the scholars of Israel. Though most of the text of the Mishnah covers matters of law, ritual, commandments and observances, the tractate called Avot deals almost exclusively with matters of life, society and education. Perhaps it is for this very reason that the book is so beloved amongst Jews and is of enormous influence in Jewish life. According to the Talmud, Avot provides the gateway to a meaningful life of piety and observance, goodness and altruism. According to...

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