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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BAMIDBAR

I realize that I am making a very bad pun, but I must state that numbers really do count. The Torah takes us through the counting of the Jewish people many times and in detail. Though it may be difficult for us to understand why this should be so, the basic lesson that it teaches us is an important one for national survival. Simply put, we are being instructed that for Judaism and Jewishness to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

AVOT

Both the Mishnah and Talmud are unique in their style of composition for in effect it allows the students thousands of years later to feel as though they have entered into that ancient study hall to hear the discussion of the scholars of Israel. Though most of the text of the Mishnah covers matters of law, ritual, commandments and observances, the tractate called Avot deals almost exclusively...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BECHUKOTAI

The Torah reading of this week concludes the book of Vayikra. As is obvious to all who study this book, it is primarily concerned with laws and observances and the details connected to those Divine commandments. Even though the Torah had intimated previously that the observance of these commandments was not a matter of pure recommendation or suggestion but that they were mandatory conditions for...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DAYS IN MAY

There are times in life that one is able to see the beginning and end of an idea or movement in its entirety. When I was a child I remember vividly that the first day of May was called May Day and was the day of celebration of the proletariat Left. Fiery speeches, and loud bands, tens of thousands of marchers waving red flags all dominated the media and street of the day. The mood of the day...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

BEHAR

Much comment has been made over the centuries regarding the fact that the Torah introduces this week's reading by stating that its revelation took place at the mountain of Sinai. Rashi says that this is to emphasize that the Torah is of divine origin, which is represented in human terms by the mountain of Sinai. There is great significance to describe and identify Godly instructions in terms of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PESACH SHENI

The idea that is embedded in the commemoration of Pesach Sheni is truly a unique and exceptional one. The Torah generally provides no opportunities for do overs. One cannot fulfill the commandment of shofar or of lulav at any other time except those set aside for those commandments in the month of Tishrei. Yet here, regarding the Pesach offering complete with the commandments of matzoh and maror,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HERE AND THERE

A very dear friend of mine travels extensively several times a year between his family in Europe and his permanent home in Israel. He often tells me that when he is there he wishes to be here and when he was here he often wishes to be there. I am somewhat in the same situation, so I readily can identify with that sort of emotion. But I check myself by the realization that this is a true...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EMOR

The Torah obviously envisions the creation within Jewish society of a special rite if not even elitist group of people - the kohanim, the priestly descendants of the family of Aharon. The existence of such a group within the ranks of Israel – a group that has laws exclusive to it alone and extra economic privileges - seems to fly in the face of all our current democratic ideals and societal...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ACHREI – KEDOSHIM

The book of Vayikra contains most of the mitzvoth/commandments that appear in the Torah itself. Because of this, it contains relatively little narrative. Nevertheless, the number and quality of the commandments themselves demand our study and appreciation. The Torah apparently could have sufficed by itself by just saying “be a good person.” In fact, this was the slogan of many Jews and even...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAZRIA-METZORA

The human body is subject to all sorts of pressures that affect its health and well- being. Modern medicine has shown how mental moods, stress and psychic disturbances can adversely affect physical health and appearance. As modern technology has exploded in our time, in spite of all of its advantages, and there are many, our lives have become more stressful….and unfortunately psychological...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein