Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

CHAYEI SARAH 5782

The Torah records for us the years of the life of our mother Sarah. It is done in a lengthy fashion counting one hundred years, twenty years and then seven years, instead of merely stating that she lived for 127 years. Rashi, in his famous commentary, states that this teaches us that that all her years were good ones. At first glance, this is difficult to understand and accept. In reviewing...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYERA 5782

Our father Abraham experiences the revelation of the Lord when he is sitting alone at the opening of his tent. Only a few days had passed since his circumcision and the day itself is being described. He appears to us as a solitary figure, wrapped in his own thoughts, searching for attachment to his Creator. We are accustomed to think of this situation as being one of preparation for the visit of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LECH LECHA 5782

We recognize that in many ways our father Abraham is an innovator, a one-of-a-kind individual, someone who is original, unique, and fearless in his quest for the betterment of the human race and the creation of the Jewish people. Among all his other achievements, if we look carefully at the opening chapters of the Lech Lecha, we find that our father Abraham is also the first human being recorded...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOACH 5782

The ten generations described in the Torah, from Adam until Noach, produced only chaos and eventual destruction. There were a few individuals, such as Chanoch, who were moral and positive people. However, they had little, if any, influence on the general society in which they lived, and not even one person who would follow them and their moral behavior. Our world, and all our societies are,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Bereshith 5782

The Torah in this week's opening reading begins with a description of the generations of human beings – the narrative of human life and civilization. It points out that originally there was a choice of whether to live in paradise in the Garden of Eden, or to attempt to reach for hoped-for human greatness and accomplishment through knowledge, intellect, and the human spirit. That choice,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUKKOT

The culmination of the great month of Tishrei occurs with the commemoration of the holiday of Succot. It provides a joyful relief and release from the intensity of the first two major holidays of the month, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. While we experience an enjoyable sense of celebration, of commemoration and exalted purpose with these two unmatched high holy days, there is a sense of tension...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU 5782

These last chapters of the Torah, culminating in this week's reading, are all a very serious and have an almost fearsome quality and tone. Heaven and earth are called upon to be the ultimate witnesses regarding the covenant that the Lord has made with Israel for all time. Rashi points out to us that human witnesses and even historical tradition within families, tribes and other groups are...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HOLIDAY MEMORIES

For me, the holiday season that we are now in, is a time of mixed emotions. They engender within all of us the understanding that circumstances change in the progress of life and its events. Therefore, I am taking the liberty of sharing some of my holiday memories with you. Nostalgia can be very alluring, but there is also always a modicum of hard-headed realism that memories of the past always...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH 5782

Our teacher Moshe is described in the Parsha as being near the end of his life in this world. Yet, the Torah also describes his last days on earth as being vigorous, healthy, while continuing to teach and guide the people of Israel, as he had done for the past 40 years. The Torah itself testifies that even on the last days of life in this world, he was able to climb mountains, and gather the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM 5781

Towards the conclusion of his long final oration to the Jewish people, our teacher Moshe refers once more to the covenant between God and Israel. A covenant is much more than a relationship or an agreement. Covenants, in the Jewish sense of the word, are not altered by changing times and differing circumstances. A covenant has the ring of eternity, not only in time but also in content. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein