Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

VAYECHI

The era of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people ends with this week’s Torah reading. There are times when the passing of a generation happens without even notice. But there are other times when even a casual observer of the world scene realizes that the old era has ended and that a new one is about to begin. The passing of Jacob and his children, in the entire generation of the 70...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE PAST AND THE FUTURE

Judaism preaches a forward-looking outlook on life and a positive take on the human situation. It also encourages, in fact commands, that even though one is to concentrate on the future, one is never to forget the past. For what happened in the past to a great degree shapes our future and influences it greatly. Much of our current society is solely enmeshed in the present and has little...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIGASH

After Joseph is reunited with his brothers, and Jacob and his family journey to Egypt to settle there, Joseph brings his aged father in front of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh, who was Emperor then of the entire civilized world, asks Jacob a strange question. He asks him: " How old are you?" On the surface, this can appear to be a natural question that people ask when encountering someone of very...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

EMAILS NOT READ

Like most of us today I receive a great deal of email from people and companies whom I do not know and have no connection to. Most of the emails that I receive fall into the category of spam and are rapidly deleted. However, I am a creature of habit and I look at my email inbox regularly, sometimes more than once a day. I am always hopeful that there will be an email of importance, intelligence...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Being Aware of Hellenism Today

The holiday of Hanukah marks the struggle between the Hellenistic view of the world and of life and that of traditional Judaism and the values that it represented and continues to represent. The Hellenistic world was a superstitious world. It was a world where human beings were represented as gods, and a world of paganism, where idols, icons and statues were all glorified and worshiped,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

Miketz

In this week's Torah reading, we read of the dreams of the Pharaoh of Egypt. The Torah does not identify who this Pharaoh was. We know nothing about him, we know nothing as to how he became the Pharaoh. He is a complete mystery, yet he is the catalyst for everything that will happen. He will be the one who has Joseph released from prison. He is the one that will make Joseph the viceroy of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LESS DIFFERENCES, MORE UNITY, A STRONG ORTHODOXY

During my recent trip to the United States I had the honor of addressing the student bodies of different Orthodox educational institutions. These institutions were of diverse streams of Orthodoxy. Some refer to themselves as modern Orthodox, while others claim to be more authentic, so to speak, and less open to the culture and ideals of the modern world. At the various venues, some of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYESHEV

The narrative in the Torah portion of Vayeshev, of how the Jewish people came down to Egypt and settled there for centuries, is in the form of a personality dispute between Joseph and his brothers. The Torah never covers up for anyone and is never hagiographic. It presents for us figures of great people, but it does not demand perfection from them. In short, they are human with all that this...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYISHLACH

Our father, Jacob, escapes from the mouth of the lion only to run into the arms of the bear. He leaves, in fact he flees, from the house of Lavan but is immediately confronted first with the angel of his brother Esau and later by Esau himself and an armed band of 400 men. Eventually Jacob escapes even from this trial by means of bribery, appeasement and the affectation of brotherly love...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

The Palestinians’ Worst Enemy

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted a fact that is well-known but usually ignored by the media, and in fact, by governments throughout the world. A study by an NGO that is usually notoriously anti-Israel in its conclusions regarding human rights and has in the past called Israel an apartheid state, recently concluded that the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the West...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein