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Weekly Parsha

VAYELECH/SHUVA 9/28/2022 10:27 AM

The parsha of Vayelech is the parsha that contains the smallest number of verses – only thirty – of any other parsha in the Torah. It also is the parsha that usually coincides with Shabat Shuva, the holy Shabat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The words of the parsha are part of the last testament of Moshe uttered on the day of his passing from this earth. As is his want, Moshe...

NITZAVIM 9/18/2022 12:10 AM

In emphasizing once again the eternal validity of God’s covenant with the Jewish people, Moshe addresses his words to the entire nation. All classes of society are included in the covenant – the heads of the people, the judges, the wealthy and powerful, the poor, menial and manual laborers, and those that chop the wood and draw the water. No one is excluded from the terms of the covenant and...

KI TAVO 9/11/2022 11:57 AM

One of the bitterest curses that the Torah describes in the tochacha, which forms a major portion of this parsha, is that all our efforts will be for naught, all our ambitions, ideas and struggles ultimately pointless and of no lasting value, unless we build strong family ties and encourage harmony. There are relatively few ways that we can make our mark on the world and our lives, unless we are...

SHOFTIM 8/28/2022 12:39 AM

Following the decisions of the court and judges of one’s time, even if one personally disagrees with those judicial conclusions, is the subject of this week’s parsha. This leads to a later concept in halacha of a zakein mamreh – a leading scholar, a member of the Sanhedrin itself, who refuses to accept or abide by the majority position and opinion of his colleagues. There is a...

RE’AH 5782 8/21/2022 12:28 AM

There is a shift in mood in the book of Dvarim beginning with this week’s parsha. It no longer is a review of the events of the desert or of the Exodus from Egypt. Moshe no longer will concentrate on the faults and failures of the generation that left Egypt – a generation that saw their high hopes dashed by their stubbornness and a lack of faith. The past is the past and it cannot be...

EKEV 5782 8/14/2022 10:28 AM

Moshe’s discourse to the children of Israel at the end of his life continues in this week’s parsha. I think that it has to be said that Moshe presents a “fair and balanced” review of the events that have befallen Israel during its desert sojourn. The good and the bad, the exalted and the petty are all recorded for us in his words. And his view of the future of his beloved people is also a...

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...