Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PICTURES

I am certain that all of you are aware that because of the ubiquitous camera, which is built into our mobile phones, many people now take a picture of anything and everything even if it does not really concern them or impact their lives. We live in a generation where everyone lives in the present and everything must be immediately recorded and disseminated as widely as possible. Because of this,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EKEV

In this week's Torah reading Moshe teaches us that he was instructed by heaven to construct an ark made of wood in order to house the two tablets of stone that he received on Sinai. I have written about this subject before and it is one that has been noted heavily by the commentators to the Torah. But I have become aware of an insight that I feel has great relevance to understanding many of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GENERATIONAL CONVERSATION

We are all aware that we will never again be as smart, perceptive, clever and knowledgeable as we were when we were 16 years old. There is no question that from that point of life onwards the trajectory is always downhill. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be said for age and experience and for the tempering of our views and opinions by the realities of life. One of the omnipresent...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAETCHANAN

The Torah reading of this week always coincides with the Shabbat that falls after the fast of the ninth day of Av. Because of the nature of the prophetic reading, it is seen as the Shabbat of comfort and consolation, which are difficult commodities to acquire. Tragedies are not easily erased from one's mind and affect one's permanent personality and view of life. Comfort and consolation rarely...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE NINTH OF AV

This coming Sunday will mark the anniversary of the day of destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans 1,949 years ago. 1,949 years is a very long time, even in terms of the span of human history. Great empires have risen to dominate the world over this period but without exception they have all crumbled and disappeared into the dustbin of history. Religions and beliefs arose and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DVARIM

This final book of the five books of the Torah is the great oration of Moshe at the conclusion of his 40 years of leadership and service to God and the Jewish people. In it he reviews the events of that period and his observations and comments regarding those events and the behavior of the people of Israel during those decades of miraculous existence in the desert of Sinai. The underlying...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

SECULAR TYRANNY

The rabbis of the Talmud were perceptive and insightful judges of the human character and its failings and foibles. One insightful comment is that when one wishes to discredit someone else, one usually does so by accusing the other of the failing of which the accuser is guilty. In our present society which, in many parts of the world and especially in Europe, and only somewhat less so here in...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

MASEI

It is the nature of human beings to look on the past with nostalgia. Often, we do so in a very selective manner, remembering the good and pleasant, and conveniently forgetting or ignoring the sad and unpleasant experiences. This is especially true in our time, when sections of the Jewish world, especially within the society of Orthodox Jews who descended from Eastern European ancestors, paint...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

A CHILDLESS SOCIETY

One of the many consequences, perhaps an unintended one of the current progressive, leftist, socialist societies that comprise Europe and other places on the globe, and is visibly present in American society as well, is that of the disappearance of the importance of having children. Europe generally is suffering from a decline in its indigenous population and of its growth in terms of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

MATOT

The word for a staff, stick or even a scepter is the same word –mateh – that is used to describe the tribe or an integrated group of people. As has been often noted, the Hebrew language is rather sparing in its vocabulary. Therefore, often the same word is used with other meanings in different circumstances. But there always is a connection between the various uses of the word in different...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert