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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BEHAR 5782 5/9/2022 12:49 PM

This week's portion creates an eternal connection between Mount Sinai, the Jewish people, and the Torah itself. The fact that the Torah emphasizes its eternal association with Mount Sinai is meant to teach us important lessons regarding Judaism and Jewish life. There are grand and majestic mountains that dot our planet. They are awe-inspiring in their height and strength, and they tower over...

EMOR 5782 5/2/2022 01:09 PM

One of the central themes in this week's Torah reading concerns the special and unique laws and commandments that pertain to the kohanim – the family of Aaron who became the priests of Israel. While the people of Israel did not democratically elect them to serve in that exalted role, they were, rather, appointed to their duties and status by the will of Heaven, as expressed through Moshe. ...

KEDOSHIM 5782 4/25/2022 12:18 PM

One of the very well-known commandments that appears in this week's reading of the Torah is the injunction not to place a stumbling block in front of someone who cannot see. Interestingly enough, Rashi in commenting upon and in explaining this commandment, does not treat it literally. The Torah does not deal with people who are so evil as to purposely and knowingly place a stumbling block...

Achrei Mos 4/24/2022 11:47 AM

The death of the two sons of Aaron remain one of the great mysteries that the Torah presents to us. The Talmud and Midrash have advanced several ideas as to why such a tragedy occurred and it may seem to a certain extent it was self-inflicted. The reasons for their failures are listed - they had drunk too much wine, they never intended to marry and father a family and they wanted their elders to...

PESACH 5782 4/10/2022 12:24 AM

It has been a long and cold and rainy winter here in Jerusalem. Because it is a leap year. Spring in the Jewish calendar has been delayed almost until the beginning of April. Nevertheless, it has arrived with each warming season and flowering greenery. The holidays of the Jewish calendar undoubtedly were meant to be celebrated here in Israel, where the climate matches the mood of the individual...

METZORAH 5782 4/3/2022 12:26 PM

This week's Torah portion remains one of the most mysterious and supernatural demonstrations of the laws of Judaism, which appears anywhere else in the holy books. We are not aware of the specific nature of the disease that is described. Leprosy is certainly not the correct translation or identification of this disease called Tzoraat in the Torah. The cause for the disease, however, is alluded to...

TAZRIA 5782 3/27/2022 12:00 AM

In this week's Torah reading, we are informed, almost in passing, of the commandment regarding circumcision of male children at the age of eight days. This commandment, which has existed forever in Jewish life, is the symbol of the covenant with our father Abraham between the Lord of Israel and the people of Israel and is one of the core rituals of Judaism. The circumcision ceremony itself is...

SHMINI 5782 3/20/2022 12:00 AM

All living creatures that exist in our world require nutrition to be able to survive. Human beings, being the most sophisticated of all creatures on this planet, are especially concerned with the food that they eat. Most human beings know that they eat to survive, but there are many, especially in Western society today, that survive to be able to eat. The variety of foods, recipes and menus...

TZAV 5782 3/13/2022 11:05 AM

The Torah reading of this week concerns itself with the tasks of the Priests in the Temple, regarding the sacrifices which were the centerpiece of the entire Temple service. The instructions that are given to the Priests are exact and detailed. In fact, the Hebrew word "tzav" which appears at the beginning of the reading and is where the Parsha gets its name, indicates a command. The strength...

VAYIKRA 5782 3/6/2022 12:48 PM

One of the categories of sacrifices that are described in this week's Torah reading describes the offerings that are meant to bring about forgiveness for sins that one committed inadvertently. The Torah details for us how the sacrifice was to be brought, and what its effects regarding forgiveness from Heaven would then occur. Even though we live in a time when such animal sacrifices are not...