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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Sabbath/ Holidays

LECH LECHA 5781 10/25/2020 05:18 PM

We are aware that one of the ten tests and challenges that confront our father Abraham is the Almighty's commandment to Abraham that forms the name of this week's Torah reading. Abraham is directed to, ‘go, for your sake,’ leave the comforts and familiar surroundings of your home and society, and to take a journey into a strange and unknown land. According to Chassidic tradition, this...

NOACH 10/18/2020 03:10 PM

The concluding portion of this week's Torah reading deals with the society that built the great Tower of, and the beginning of the lifetime, and accomplishments of our father Abraham. To me there is a relevancy and immediacy to this theme as it appears in this week's Torah reading. What is described in the Torah is the creation of a totalitarian society, ruled by dictatorship, fear, and...

OPEN ORTHODOXY 10/12/2020 10:47 AM

Since transparency is a favorite buzzword in today's enlightened society, I feel compelled to warn my beloved readers of my articles and essays, that this article is not about what you may think, given its title. I am not referring to radical ideas and behavior that masquerade as remaining within the boundaries of Jewish tradition and halachic norms. Rather, this article is about our synagogue...

BERESHITH 5781 10/12/2020 10:46 AM

This week's opening parsha of the Torah can be viewed as having bookends. There are two main characters in the story of humanity that are introduced to us. At the beginning of the parsha, the Torah tells us of the creation of Adam, the original human being, and the progenitor of all of us. Thus, the Torah records the tragedy of his life and he becomes, so to speak, the story of all human beings...

VZOT HABRACHA 5781 9/29/2020 03:47 PM

It is interesting that our great leader and teacher Moshe followed the lead of our father Jacob when it came to blessing the Jewish people before he left the world. The blessings that Moshe bestowed were individual and particular. Each tribe was given its own blessing and its mission. Every human being is different, and even the greatest amongst us who, on the surface, appears similar,...

SUCCOT 9/29/2020 01:20 PM

The holiday of Succot is, perhaps, unique amongst all the holidays of the Jewish calendar year. The laws pertaining to the commandments particular to this holiday are almost all exclusively derived from the oral law given to our teacher Moshe on Sinai There is no way that a succah can be successfully and traditionally constructed without recourse to the intricacies and nuances that the oral...

Yom Kippur 9/21/2020 12:12 AM

Yom Kippur is the quintessential and unique Jewish holy day of the year. All the other holidays that our God has given to us as a faith and as a people have their parallels in non-Jewish society. All societies have days of national independence, harvest festivals of Thanksgiving, celebrations of victories and historic moments of salvation and national preservation. Naturally, our holy days of...

Ha'azinu 9/21/2020 12:09 AM

Moshe appeals to Heaven and earth to somehow hear his words and bear testimony to the accuracy of his prophecies. Nature does not have a will of its own, but, rather, is bound by the original directions and system created by God when the universe came into being. Unlike human beings who possess free will and can make choices even when those choices are against their own self-interest, nature is...

ROSH HASHANA 5781 9/6/2020 01:07 PM

I believe that all of us can agree that this year the awesome days of Rosh Hashana will be different than in past years. Many of us may not even be allowed to attend the synagogue for public worship. Others will pray and assemble in open, outside areas. There is a rhythm to our holidays that this coronavirus has interrupted. Nevertheless, Rosh Hashana will take place and Jews worldwide will...

NITZAVIM – VAYELECH 5780 9/6/2020 10:14 AM

The very two words that signify the titles of the two portions of the Torah that we will hear in the synagogue this Shabbat are, at first glance, contradictory. Nitzavim signifies a solid stance, and unwavering presence, and a commanding appearance. It reflects an unchanging nature, and the necessary ability to stand one's ground. no matter what the circumstances of life. On the other hand,...