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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog


Sunday, June 16, 2024

It is a terrible personality trait to be a complainer. It is hard to live with complainers at home, in the workplace, and in the community. In this week’s parsha we are made aware of the dismal consequences of complaining. Rashi points out that the complainers in the desert had no real basis for their complaints. They were just dissatisfied somehow and so they complained against Moshe and eventually against God. Moshe in his final oration to the Jewish people in the book of Dvarim will himself complain that the people of Israel are unnecessarily quarrelsome and a bunch of complainers. There is a Jewish joke, more ironic than funny, about three Jewish matrons eating lunch at a...

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Sunday, June 9, 2024

The idea of the nazir always raises questions and problems. The idea of monasticism is certainly not a basic Jewish value. Just the opposite seems to be true from the ideas and statements of the rabbis in the Talmud and from Jewish societal behavioral patterns over the centuries. Jewish society, in its divisions and manifestations is vitally and socially gregarious to the extreme, with a brashness of involvement in all fields of human endeavor, thought and progress. Yet the Torah describes for us quite clearly and vividly the necessity for some necessity of monasticism, be it permanent or temporary, in Jewish life and social order. Yet even this monastic situation is not meant to...

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