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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Sabbath/ Holidays

MIKETZ 12/10/2017 10:11 AM

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...

VAYASHEV 12/3/2017 10:17 AM

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...

VAYISHLACH 11/27/2017 01:49 PM

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...

VAYETZEI 11/19/2017 11:03 AM

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,...

TOLDOT 11/12/2017 12:35 PM

Our father Avraham was, according to the Mishna in Avot, tested ten times and overcame all of them. It is interesting that most of the commentators that describe and enumerate these ten tests do not identify Avraham as being the son of Terach as one of these tests. One can easily think that this perhaps would have been one of the major tests in his lifetime. But the Torah takes into account a...

CHAYEI SARAH 11/5/2017 11:59 AM

Avraham and Sarah have a loyal and devoted trustworthy servant named Eliezer. His abilities and nobility of character enable him to be entrusted with the most personal and sensitive of assignments and missions. His name has been used by Jewish families for thousands of years as an honorable name for their sons. In fact, our great teacher Moshe named his younger son Eliezer as a remembrance of...

VAYERA 10/30/2017 11:19 AM

There are many angels that walk amongst us in this world, unrecognized by others. Angels apparently adopt the coloration of the society into which their mission has taken them. The prophets of Israel describe in vivid detail the description of angels as they appear in heaven’s court. They have wings and many-faceted eyes. They are fiery and swift, fearsome and relentless. But when they are on...

LECH LECHA 10/23/2017 11:49 AM

There is much comment and many different interpretations regarding the first two words of the second verse of this week’s Torah reading. The second word “lecha” – “for you” seems to be somewhat redundant in the construction of the sentence. Rashi therefore interprets it to mean “for your benefit and good.” The Lord instructs Abraham to leave his homeland and family located in...

NOACH 10/16/2017 01:11 PM

The greater a person is or believes he or she is, the smaller the room for error in one’s life decisions. Had Noach been merely Mister Noach, his choice of beginning the world again with a vineyard and wine would have been acceptable and even understandable. After all, the trauma of the destruction of so many human beings in the waters of the great flood required some sort of release of tension...

AFTER THE HOLIDAYS 10/16/2017 10:14 AM

The concluding week of Tishrei always carries with it a note of anti-climax, if not even sadness. The great holidays of the year have departed with their soaring beauty and meaningful moments of personal reflection. Flooded with memories of the past we were transported to a different existence, physically and emotionally. Time was slower, family dearer and our spiritual bond with our...