Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PESACH

One of the more amazing things about the holiday of Pesach is that even though it is over 3300 years old it is relevant and current to our world today just as it was when it was originally celebrated by the Jewish people in Egypt long ago. It naturally speaks to every generation in a different tone and nuance, but its basic message of human freedom and Godly service has never changed. Its...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TZAV

The entire relationship between God and Israel is reflected in the opening verb of this week’s Torah reading. The word “tzav” reflects an attitude of command and of subservience. Even though explanations for the command may be given and understood, the command itself remains viable and imperative no matter what. The Lord called the Jewish people “an army of God.” An army...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

IT’S THE ZHIDS

One of the more uncanny peculiarities in human history has been that whenever a sinister unexplained event in the world occurs, the Jews are immediately sought out as the scapegoats and the cause of the event. Unfortunately there is a very long and bitter history to this phenomenon. It is so deeply ingrained in parts of the non-Jewish world that even in our time, despite a long history and in the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIKRA

The opening words of this the third book of the Torah highlights for us an important idea. It is that God so to speak calls upon the people for service, position and action. Moshe is called on by God to order the services in the Temple. He used to see this task as being his personal responsibility. This idea that God calls upon people regularly to accomplish the will of Heaven is expressed...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYAKHEL – PEKUDEI

The commentators over the ages who have studied every word of the Torah carefully and meticulously particularly note that the review and accounting for the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle was preceded by convening all of the Jewish people before Moshe and once again reviewing the laws and importance of Shabbat. The main and obvious lesson to be derived from this juxtaposition of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

COSTUMES

Since all of us are still in a somewhat post-–Purim frame of mind, I am taking the liberty of commenting on costumes, past and present that mark the holiday. I received many pictures of my blessed great-grandchildren, all of them dressed in costume. Some were airline pilots and flight attendants while others were mail carriers and even letters. There were a number of Queen Esthers, police...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TISA

In this week's Torah reading we learn of the ingredients and mixture that created the incense offering in the Holy Temple. The list of ingredients and its formula are transmitted to us through the words of the rabbis of the Mishnah and the Talmud. The ingredients and measurements were to be exact and any deviation from the established formula rendered the offering unacceptable. The...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PURIM

The book of Esther promised us that the days of Purim would not pass from the Jewish people for all of its generations. The rabbis of the Talmud even stated that all of the holidays of the Jewish year would not necessarily be celebrated in the messianic era but that the holiday of Purim would remain eternally. At first glance, this seems to be a very strange observation. Purim ostensibly...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

TETZAVEH

The Torah reading of this week deals with the garments and vestments of the children of Aaron, the priests and High Priest of Israel. At first glance, the garments that these men were to wear present a clash of ideas and a contradiction of policies. On one hand, the garments of the ordinary priests were simple, modest and low key – a hat, a belt in the form of a sash, trousers and the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MY ORCHID PLANT

Among my many failings is the fact that I do not have a green thumb. Plants and I do not agree and, in fact, many times I feel that the plants that I have in my home are just downright hostile to me. The care of these plants and the reason that they have survived so long has always been due to the distaff side of my home. I very much enjoy flowers and plants and I see in them some of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein