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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

The Good Old Days

I have noticed that as I become older and older, the good old days become ‘gooder and gooder.’ Now naturally we are all victims of selective memory and warm nostalgia, nevertheless as I have just returned from a family wedding in the United States, I am definitely under the impression that the good old days of American society were surely better than the current state of political and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Vaeira

This week’s Torah reading contains the four famous words of redemption that signal the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. Much has been made over the centuries as to the meaning and implication of each of these four Hebrew verbs. The fact that there are four such words used in the narrative of redemption fits the pattern that we find in the Hagaddah of Pesach – four sons, four...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Walking the Dog

Every morning, there are people in my congregation who are kind enough to drive me to the synagogue for the morning services. I meet them at the corner, and since I do not like that people should have to wait for me, I usually am there a few minutes early. This allows me to survey the scene and gather my thoughts before the moments of prayer and contemplation. I have noticed over the past few...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

SHEMOT

The Torah, Jewish history and tradition indicate to us that Heaven oftentimes chooses unusual people for roles that are essential and pivotal in Jewish leadership. King David is a clear example of this historical phenomenon. But I think that we can agree that the choice of Moshe to be the redeemer and eternal teacher of the Jewish people, if not of all civilization, is, at first blush, a strange...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Vayechi

The conclusion of the book of Bereshith sets the stage for all of the remaining history of the Jewish people. Jacob and his family have settled in the land of Egypt, and live under the most favorable of circumstances. Their son and brother, Joseph, is the de facto ruler of the country that has provided them with prosperity. However, Joseph himself warns them that the situation is only temporary...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

OrCam

For many decades of my adult life, I have been a reading addict. In my hay-day I would read two or three books a month on various topics, but mostly on history, biography, and Jewish subjects. My interests varied but I was always an avid reader of all books on the American Civil War, as well as on historical figures both in the Jewish or non-Jewish world. However, over the past decade my eyesight...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIGASH

The dramatic moment that Joseph has dreamed of for decades has finally arrived. His dreams are to be fulfilled and he has achieved the ultimate triumph over his brothers who doubted him and his integrity. And at that moment, when he is at the zenith of his power, he breaks down and weeps. He is unable to control his emotions and his care for his brothers and his father and for the future...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

A MAN OF PRINCIPLE

During my recent stay in the United States last month, I was invited to speak in a few institutions and at certain events taking place in the New York area. I accepted a number of these invitations and I spoke at a leading institution of learning that is usually identified as being the flagship of the modern Orthodox section of American Jewry. I also spoke at a banquet held in honor of one of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MIKETZ

Yosef’s dramatic ascent to power in Egypt is recorded for us in this week’s parsha. What is noteworthy is that Yosef does not appear to be at all surprised or amazed by the sudden turn of events in his fortunes. A person who lives by dreams is never surprised when the dreams turns into reality. Yosef always expected his dreams to come true in this world. So did his father Yaakov. And in...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

CHANUKAH

Chanukah is a time of the commemoration of miracles that happened to our ancestors in previous times, but at this time of the year. Miracles are always present in our lives and in world events. The ultimate definition of a miracle, in human terms, is that something unexpected and unforeseen happened, and it proved beneficial to the individual or society to which it occurred. This definition...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein