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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

ACHREI – KEDOSHIM

The book of Vayikra contains most of the mitzvoth/commandments that appear in the Torah itself. Because of this, it contains relatively little narrative. Nevertheless, the number and quality of the commandments themselves demand our study and appreciation. The Torah apparently could have sufficed by itself by just saying “be a good person.” In fact, this was the slogan of many Jews and even...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAZRIA-METZORA

The human body is subject to all sorts of pressures that affect its health and well- being. Modern medicine has shown how mental moods, stress and psychic disturbances can adversely affect physical health and appearance. As modern technology has exploded in our time, in spite of all of its advantages, and there are many, our lives have become more stressful….and unfortunately psychological...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHMINI

How are we to view and deal with the unavoidable tragedies that occur to all of us in our lifetimes? No one really escapes unscathed and untroubled from life in this world. The nature of human beings is that we are all mortal and therefore sadness and tragedy are always waiting for us in the wings. As such, the story of the death of the two elder sons of Aaron as recorded for us in this week’s...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EVER YOUNG

One of the great impossibilities of the human condition is to be blessed with old age and many years and yet somehow to remain an essentially young and energetic person in mind, body and spirit. This is not only true in the case of individual people, but it applies to even nations and empires. Age takes its toll in a universal and indiscriminate fashion. Just look at Europe today. It is old...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

SEEING THE BIG PICTURE

Due to the progressive weakening of my eyesight I have been forced to search for and acquire all types of aids to help me in my reading and studying. A few months ago, I was able to purchase an excellent device that is manufactured in Holland that enables me to read and study with comparative ease even though I cannot see or read the text with my naked eye. This machine is essentially a...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

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