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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Sabbath/ Holidays

VAETCHANAN 8/7/2022 10:46 AM

This week’s parsha begins the seven-week period of consolation and condolence that bridges the time space between Tisha b’Av and Rosh Hashana. In order to properly prepare for the oncoming year and its challenges one must first be comforted by the vision of better times ahead and the belief in one’s ability to somehow overcome those omnipresent challenges. Healing occurs when one believes...

DEVARIM 5782 7/31/2022 01:39 AM

This week's Torah reading begins the oration by our teacher Moshe during the final months of his life. In this oration, he reviews the 40 years sojourn of the Jewish people in the Sinai desert, and prophesies regarding their future, first in the Land of Israel. and then throughout succeeding history. The Torah tells us that Moshe began his speech when the Jewish people were located between...

MAASEI 5782 7/24/2022 10:55 AM

The Torah reading of this week, in essence, completes for us the narrative portion of the Torah. The 40-year sojourn, with its triumphs, defeats, accomplishments, and failures, is now ending. The Jewish people are poisedto establish their own homeland, that the Lord promised their ancestors centuries earlier. But it is not only those who were present who influenced those actions and the events...

MATOT 5782 7/17/2022 10:55 AM

The introductory subject of this week's Torah reading concerns itself with vows and commitments that a person takes upon himself or herself willingly, by simply stating his or her intention. The Torah places great emphasis upon the spoken word. Everything that is uttered from our mouths obligates us to the commitment attached to it. Words are holy, and they are also binding. The Talmud...

PINCHAS 5782 7/10/2022 12:34 PM

This week's Torah portion warns us not to be swept away by current culture, media, and societal popularity, and by those who are quick to condemn others for their thoughts and actions. When Pinchas killed Zimri and his consort, he was roundly criticized and threatened by the those in Jewish society because of this act of zealotry. When this act occurred, society considered it to be wrong,...

Balak 5782 7/3/2022 09:53 AM

We are taught in the book of Mishlei-Proverbs by King Solomon that it is better to hear criticism from a friend than compliments from someone who is truly one's enemy. This week's Torah reading abounds in compliments given to the Jewish people by the leading prophet of the non-Jewish world, Bilaam. From all of the compliments showered upon us by this person of evil, we are able learn the true...

CHUKAT 5782 6/26/2022 01:28 AM

The Torah reading of this week deals with a ritual in the Temple – that of the Red Heifer – which is characterized as being a commandment beyond the ken of human understanding and rational interpretation. It remains a primary example of certain commandments that, at their very core, are not easily interpreted or made relevant to human behavior, nor to moral understanding and judgment. ...

Korach 5782 6/20/2022 12:22 PM

This week's reading describes the rebellion of Korach and other disastrous incidents that occurred to the generation that left Egypt, who were destined to expire in the desert of Sinai. After the previous debacles: the complaints against Moshe by Miriam and Aaron, the demand for food, the ingratitude towards the manna that fell from heaven, the failed mission of the spies who visited the land of...

SHELACH 5782 6/14/2022 11:45 AM

We are taught by a Mishnah in Avot that the Jewish people, as represented by the generation of the Sinai desert, tested the Lord 10 times. The idea of testing God is a difficult one to understand and appreciate. This is particularly so when we can see that this generation did not learn from experience. Each test in turn failed to achieve anything other than harming that generation and dooming it...

BEHALOTCHA 5782 6/7/2022 10:23 AM

One of the tasks of the Priests in the Tabernacle and in the Temple was the rekindling of the great Candelabra on a daily basis. We are taught in this week's Torah reading that the Priest had to keep the flame, with which he was lighting the wicks of the lamps, next to those wicks until the lamp wick caught hold and was able to burn by itself. Over the ages, this has become the metaphor for...