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VAYISHLACH 5781

One of the more perplexing questions that is raised in this week's Torah reading is why Yaakov sends agents and messengers to Eisav to inform his brother of his return to the land of Israel. King Solomon in Proverbs had already advised to let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak. So why should Yaakov place himself in a situation of anticipated danger and difficulty when it could have avoided. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE LOST COMPUTER FILE

Computers are a wonderful invention. In our current world, it is impossible to think how we would function without them. Even though until a little over a half-century ago we apparently did function very well without them, today it is unthinkable to think that we could somehow be productive and efficient without computers. Such is the nature of technological progress, that it not only makes past...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MEMORIES

The human brain is an unbelievably complex organ. It houses millions of facts, of data and information. It also is the storehouse of human memories. In fact, everything that has ever been said or done by any individual is, somehow, stored and remembered by the individual’s brain. Most of the time, we can control which memories we wish to bring to the fore, and which events and conversations we...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYETZE 5781

We are all aware of the famous comment of Rashi on the opening word of this week's Torah reading: that the departure of a pious man from the community leaves a void and a negative impression. This comment is in line with the pattern that we have seen from the beginning of the Book of Bereishit, i.e. that the Torah is more interested in the lives of individuals, than in the general pattern of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

JEWISH GROWTH

Numerically, the Jewish people are only an exceedingly small part of humanity. Even at the height of the most optimistic of surveys, we were and are a small constituent in the overall picture of the numbers of humans who inhabit this planet. This is always been so, for the Torah itself guaranteed that we would be the least numerous amongst nations. Nevertheless, at the very same time, we...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Toldot

The question raised by all of the commentators who have dealt with this week's Torah reading is a simple one: How could it be that Eisav, a child who is raised in the house of great and holy parents, Yitzchak and Rivkah, could somehow turn out to be a terribly evil person – a murderer, rapist, thief and criminal? It is difficult in the extreme to truly comprehend this issue. However, all...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CHAYEI SARAH 5781

Jewish tradition teaches us that the house of our mother Sarah had unique qualities. I have written about this often but add the following nuance to my previous writings. We are taught that in the tent of Sarah there were three outstanding qualities: the blessing of bountiful bread that is the quality of hospitality, the cloud of spirituality that always hovered over her home and the fact that...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

Unintended consequences are well-known and ubiquitous regarding many areas of human life. It is especially true regarding legislative matters which are adopted by parliaments and congresses. No matter how carefully the law is adopted and written, there always are results that are not foreseen in that piece of legislation. Most of the time these consequences are unfortunately of a negative...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

INHERITANCE AND LEGACY

The nature of people, especially as we grow older, is to think about our influence on the future, when we are freed from the bondage of the challenges and problems of this world. We all wish to live beyond the grave; that is part of our innate drive for immortality and eternity. Many try as hard as they can to believe that this world is all that we will experience and that, therefore, it is all...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYERA 5781

One of the main issues in this week's Torah reading is the relationship between Yishmael and Yitzchak. Yishmael is the son of Abraham and Hagar, while Yitzchak is the son of Abraham and Sarah. It is common knowledge that, as the half-brothers grow up together, the differences between them in character, spirituality, ambition, and behavior become increasingly apparent. Sarah notices that Yishmael...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein