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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

THE INSCRUTABLE FUTURE

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Human beings are limited drastically by our inability to forecast and see the future accurately while we are engaged in the present. There is no question that world history would read far differently if only the assumptions of the present could be judged by the realities of the future. In the autumn of 1914 the German army stood at the gates of Paris and the Kaiser believed that his victory was at hand and that his troops “would return home before the leaves fall." The assumption of the Kaiser and the German general staff as well, was that the war could be won by a relatively short and swift campaign. Had the Kaiser and his generals been able to peer into the future and see that the...

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BO

Sunday, January 14, 2018

As the narrative of the Torah regarding the exodus of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery reaches its climax in this week’s reading, I feel that it is important for us to concentrate on the verb that the Lord uses so to speak in telling Moshe to once again appear before the Egyptian Pharaoh. The word “bo” in Hebrew means not only to come but it’s more nuanced understanding is to enter, to penetrate deeply into a place or person. It is the verb that is used for physical intimacy throughout biblical and rabbinic writings. The Lord here tells Moshe to enter into the state of mind and the state of heart of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Not merely to appear before him in a superficial...

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