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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PEKUDEI

One of the more popular buzzwords bandied about in current society is transparency. Loosely, this means that governments and financial institutions should have no secrets and that the public be allowed to know everything that occurs and to be able to see how money is being spent and allocated. This is a noble goal but like many goals it runs contrary to human nature and the goal is rarely if ever...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MORNING NOISES

For six days a week here in my neighborhood in Jerusalem it is impossible for one to reasonably expect to sleep late in the morning. I usually rise at about 6 AM and I am awakened by all sorts of sounds from the outside world that drift into my bedroom. First, the birds start chirping away loudly and persistently well before the actual sunrise. In my neighborhood there are several woodpeckers...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYAKHEL

The Torah reading of this week opens with a review and reiteration of the concept and laws of Shabbat. The rabbis of the Talmud used this juxtaposition of Shabbat and the detailed description of the construction of the Tabernacle to derive and define what type of work was forbidden on Shabbat. This is certainly very noteworthy as it forms the basis of understanding the values of Shabbat as they...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TISA

Population numbers do matter and they matter greatly. This is undoubtedly one of the many messages communicated to us in the Torah reading of this week. We see throughout the Torah that the Jewish people are counted often and in fairly exact detail. This is because there is an obvious lesson that has to be absorbed within Jewish society and that is that in order for Judaism and its value system...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

I have often been perplexed by the statement of the rabbis in Avot that says: “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, “ as there is another statement of the rabbis of the Talmud that if one begins to do a good deed, one should persevere to complete it. So, what should our attitude towards unfinished business be? And should a project or endeavor be started when it may be clear...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DOUBLE ADAR

The month of Adar is designated in Jewish life as the month of joy and celebration – and with this being a Leap Year, we have a double dose of those special feelings. In every nineteen-year lunar-solar calendar cycle, there are seven years in which an extra lunar month is inserted into the Jewish calendar. This extra leap month is always the month of Adar. And with the wondrous holiday of...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TETZAVEH

The concept of an eternal light in the place of worship is an ancient one derived from the opening section of this week's reading of the Torah. The eternal light represents the unquenchable spirit and resilience of the eternal soul that the Lord has implanted within human beings. Human life can be taken away but the spirit of life, which is so unique to human beings, seems never to disappear. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE LOST ESSAY

I usually invest time thinking about these weekly essays that I write before actually writing them. It is not always easy to come up with a subject that really interests me and if it does not interest me, I do not expect that it will interest any of my readers. Just a few days ago when I was preparing to go to sleep for the night a brilliant idea struck me as to an essay that I thought would...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

Even though the Lord requires no building or special place in the universe that He created, the Jewish people are commanded in this week's reading of the Torah to donate special materials and talented labor to begin the construction of such a building, where the spirit of the Lord, so to speak, will reign. There have been many ideas advanced over the ages as to why such a building was ever...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE PESSIMISTS AMONGST US

Purely on an anecdotal basis, I believe that the diehard secular leftists amongst us are pessimistic people. In a recent article written by the Israeli historian Benny Morris and published in the Haaretz newspaper – where else but there could this be published – he posited that the Jewish state here in the land of Israel is doomed to disappear within the next half century. He based this...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein