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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

TRAGEDIES

Sunday, May 2, 2021

It seems that, in spite of the best efforts of human beings and societies, tragedies are unavoidable in the regular course of human existence. The tragedy that we in Israel suffered on Lag B'Omer is still too fresh and the wound is too open to be able to assess it properly. There will be the commissions of inquiry, recommendations as to future security and crowd control, as well as a frenzied attempt to allocate blame for what occurred. But tragedies occur on a regular basis in all human societies, and they have done so since the beginning of recorded human history. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods form an integral part of the new meta-narrative of life. People still...

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BEHAR – BECHUKOTAI 5781

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The reading of these two sections of the Torah concludes the book of Vayikra – the book that contains most of the commandments given to the Jewish people on Sinai and for all eternity. One of the central commandments that appears in this week's reading is that of shmita – the rules regarding the sabbatical year that the Jewish people were to observe when they were in the land of Israel. This commandment, in many of its forms, remains viable today, at least as a rabbinic ordinance. There is discussion that as the present Jewish population here in the land of Israel continues to grow and expand, there is a possibility that this sabbatical year ordinance will revert once again to its...

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