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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PASSINGS

One of the largest funerals in the history of the state of Israel took place last week, with thousands in attendance at the passing of the great scholar and leader Rabbi Aryeh Leib Shteinman. Though he was 104 years old at his passing, his absence was felt by so many simply because of his extraordinary piety, generous personality and visionary leadership. His works of commentary to the Talmud...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIGASH

The statement of our father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt that “my years of life have been few and most unpleasant” is most perplexing. We all know the well-known anecdote that one of the most disappointing things in life is to ask someone how he or she is and they actually tell you. One would’ve expected that Jacob would have answered the Pharaoh in a general, positive fashion. Rashi...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

JERUSALEM AND CHANUKA

The decision by Pres. Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel has been received in dismay and anger by portions of the Arab and Moslem world. This is pretty much what could have been expected since portions of that society have never given up on the idea of the destruction of the Jewish state. However, what is more troubling and disappointing, to me at least, is the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MIKETZ

The entire narrative of the story of Joseph and his brothers, as he sent off the Jewish people to Egyptian society, slavery and ultimate redemption, is meant to illustrate to us the guiding hand of Providence in human affairs. There is no question that all of the participants in this dramatic narrative acted according to their own wishes and wisdom. Yet the confluence of all of these...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

THE UN AND ISRAEL

The state of Israel and the United Nations have a long and tortured history in dealing one with the other. Some seventy years ago the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution that became the basis in international terms for the creation of Israel. The United Nations thereby became the godfather of the Jewish state. It was an unlikely combination of diplomacy and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYASHEV

Our father Abraham had to deal mainly with his son Isaac in order to continue the tradition of monotheism and humanity that he had begun. His other children were sent away from his home so that in effect all of his efforts were concentrated on his son Isaac. Isaac himself had two sons, Jacob and Esau. He attempted to divide his attention and share his legacy with both of them. The sons were...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

TELLING THE TRUTH

Often times, if not even always, telling the truth is a painful experience both for the teller and for the listener. Our entire life is wrapped up in avoiding painful truths. And even if we are aware of them, not communicating them to others because that will make us very unpopular is also stressful. The rabbis of the Talmud called this world “a world of falsehood.” This is so ingrained...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYISHLACH

The long-awaited confrontation between the brothers Eisav and Yaakov occurs. At the onset Yaakov is quite concerned over the meeting. He fears that his brother, who is arriving with a band of 400 men, will undoubtedly intend to do him harm. And he knows that his brother is capable of slaughtering innocent women and children. There must have been a great feeling of relief that overcame Yaakov when...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BALANCE

As I thankfully and somewhat less then gracefully age, my sense of physical balance has weakened, gradually but inexorably. When one has imperfect physical balance one is markedly more prone to fall, and all falls carry unknown consequences with them. There are physical supports such as canes and walkers that are recommended for use and in many cases they are truly mandatory for safe living....

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

VAYETZEI

Our father Yaakov now embarks on a long, tortuous journey that represents the story of his life. In recounting his story before Pharaoh, when he descended to live in Egypt, he was brutally frank in assessing his life: “My years compared to those of my ancestors have been few, and they have not been good ones.” From the onset, he swims in a sea of troubles. He is robbed by his nephew,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein