Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

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

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