Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

TOUGH TIMES

Unfortunately, it seems that things are heating up in our part of the world again. An Iranian pilotless drone invaded Israeli airspace and was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter. Israel then mounted an attack against anti-aircraft facilities in Syria and during that operation an Israeli fighter jet was shot down. The two crewmembers of the downed jet were able to eject from the plane and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

It seems that building campaigns are built into the DNA of the Jewish people from time immemorial. Beginning with this week's Torah reading and continuing for the next number of weeks we will be informed of the contributions of the Jewish people to the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle and to the exquisite details regarding the construction of that building and of its holy artifacts. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

One of the many diverse and detailed subjects covered in this week’s Torah reading is that of the laws regarding lending money to a fellow Jew. And though the language of the verse is couched in a conditional manner –“if” or “when” you will lend money – the rabbis of the Talmud interpreted this as an imperative – a positive commandment requiring one to be open to lend money to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOT ME

The current dispute between Poland and Israel, really between Poland and the Jewish people, highlights one of the great weaknesses of the human character. Even after committing and participating in the worst of atrocities against innocent fellow human beings, the perpetrators rarely have the courage and moral fortitude to acknowledge their actions and attempt to atone for their guilt. The...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

TU B’SHVAT

I think that if all of us stopped and contemplated the growth and success of the state of Israel in our time, we would truly realize that we are living in a miraculous age. Though the miracles are consistent and regular, oftentimes, perhaps even most times, we take them so for granted that the miraculous become mundane. One of the great miracles of the state of Israel is its agricultural...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

The high point of Jewish spiritual history is achieved in the narrative that is this week’s Torah reading. The revelation at Sinai and the subsequent granting of the Torah to Israel defined the character and mission of the Jewish people throughout its long and eventful history. The basic ideas encompassed in the Ten Commandments have become the foundation of Western civilization. And, even...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

BSHALACH

The Pharaoh of Egypt has finally relented and freed the Jewish people from their centuries of slavery and persecution and allowed them to leave his country. Even though he was forced to do so by continuing plagues and disasters that fell upon him and his people, nevertheless freeing the Jewish people was a noble thing that he accomplished. Yet, as is the want of all tyrants and evil people, he...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

DEMOCRACY IS MESSY

Even though our wonderful little state is still facing major diplomatic and terrorist persecution and problems, the Israeli public has become so accustomed to them that we hardly take real notice or have undue concern. Currently there really are few major issues that are presented to the public as being overly threatening or very serious. Because of this we here in Israel have reverted to our...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE INSCRUTABLE FUTURE

Human beings are limited drastically by our inability to forecast and see the future accurately while we are engaged in the present. There is no question that world history would read far differently if only the assumptions of the present could be judged by the realities of the future. In the autumn of 1914 the German army stood at the gates of Paris and the Kaiser believed that his victory was...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BO

As the narrative of the Torah regarding the exodus of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery reaches its climax in this week’s reading, I feel that it is important for us to concentrate on the verb that the Lord uses so to speak in telling Moshe to once again appear before the Egyptian Pharaoh. The word “bo” in Hebrew means not only to come but it’s more nuanced understanding is to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert