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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

TZAV

In this week’s Torah reading we are taught that the sons of Aaron, the priestly clan of Israel, were charged with the responsibility of keeping an eternal permanent flame burning on the sacrificial altar of the Temple. This miraculous flame appeared to form the image of a crouching lion on the top of that altar. This permanent flame was in addition to another permanent eternal light that...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

SHABBAT HAGADOL

This Shabbat which immediately precedes Pesach is crowned with the title of Shabbat Hagadol – the Great Shabbat. Since every Shabbat is also crowned with greatness then why does this pre-Pesach Shabbat merit a special appellation? There is one basic principle that underlies all the many explanations. And that is that basically, without Shabbat there really can never be a truly meaningful...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

A Long Journey

I traveled to America last week in order to spend the holiday of Pesach with my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Because of the troubles associated with the Coronavirus, it was very difficult to obtain a plane reservation. However, a number of resourceful people in Israel arranged a charter flight through El Al on behalf of yeshiva students and young women in Israeli seminaries....

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Vayikra

In this week's Torah reading, the Torah describes for us the rituals of offering sacrifices in the temple. Our generation and our society are far removed from the concept of animal sacrifices and, because of this, the Torah reading somehow does not really speak directly to us. Already in the 13th century, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon offered the idea that we have to view sacrifices for the value...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYAKHEL – PIKUDEI

Moshe gathers all of the people of Israel into the courtyard of the Tabernacle to instruct them about the observance of the sanctity of Shabbat, That is the content of the lead verse of this week’s Torah reading, The obvious question raised by all of the Torah commentators is whether there was insufficient physical space outside the Tabernacle to hold the entire population of the Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Going to a Concert

Several weeks ago, in spite of all of the dire warnings regarding the corona virus, I attended a concert of great cantors here in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful concert and all the performers were in excellent voice. They were accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and by a choir of many dozens of fine tenor, baritone, and bass voices. I don't often go to concerts - in fact, this is the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TISA

One of the more mystical rituals in the mishkan was the ktoret – the offering of incense on the altar. The incense, when burned by fire, provided a fragrant cloud of smoke that permeated the tent of the mishkan. The Torah is very exact and detailed in describing the ingredients and formula that formed the ktoret in the mishkan and later in the Temple, which produced this powerful fragrance. The...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MY LOST WALLET

When I recently returned from my trip to the United States to attend the wedding of my grandson, I arrived back here in Jerusalem in the early evening. As can well be imagined, I was very tired, so I didn't immediately unpack everything. Instead, I went to bed about an hour after I arrived. I had placed my wallet into my carry-on bag, and I gave it no further notice until the next morning, when...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Airports

Over the past few months, I have traveled several times from Israel to the United States in order to attend happy occasions in my family. Because my children live in various areas of the United States, I always ask to transfer from the New York airports to fly to Chicago or Phoenix or Houston or St. Louis in order to fulfill my familial obligations. I am very averse to having close connections...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TETZAVEH

The Torah reading of this week establishes for us the commandment of having an eternal flame burn in the Mishkan and later in the Temple in Jerusalem as well. This commandment is repeated regarding the Altar in the Mishkan and in the Temple where an eternal flame was also to be present on the Altar of sacrifices. The concept and symbol of an eternal flame has been repeated throughout Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein