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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

LOST LUGGAGE

There are many discomforting and even unpleasant experiences that await those of us who travel by airplane in our current world. Air travel was once considered a luxury experience, apart from one’s final destination. Well, the combination of terrorism, enhanced security measures, crowded planes, narrow seats, somewhat surly service and other sundry annoyances have turned air travel into a chore...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHLACH

In our current democratically oriented mindset we subscribe to the tenent that majority rules. Because of this mentality, many times the opinion of the minority is never taken seriously or properly assessed. Yet, throughout world and Jewish history apparently the majority opinion was not always the correct one, and harmful consequences followed from its adoption The Talmud therefore is always...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B'HALOTCHA

Human beings are by their very nature creatures who are eternally dissatisfied and fearful. It is a rare person that, even at a joyous family occasion, can grasp the moment and fully enjoy it. Even as the bridal couple stands under their marriage canopy, observers and the families of those concerned are already fretting about what the future will hold for the young couple. Rarely can a person...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

HOT SUMMERS

As all of us here in Israel can attest to, the intense heat of the past weeks has clearly announced to us that summer has arrived. The Mediterranean type of climate that Israel enjoys is balanced by its proximity to the desert areas that make up a large part of the landmass of the Middle East. We here in Jerusalem are spared the intense humidity and discomfort that visits the coastal areas of...

Posted in:
Jewish Thought
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GRATITUDE

As I have often pointed out in these columns, Judaism is to be seen not only as a system of laws and commandments but, even more importantly, as a system of values and overriding attitudes. It really is the value system of Judaism that determines the application of the laws and commandments of the Torah. Without a true understanding of the underlying values and attitudes of the holy and eternal...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

NASSO

The almost endless repetition of the gifts of the elders of the tribes of Israel, at the time of the dedication of the Tabernacle in the desert, has presented a problem to all the commentators to the Torah over the ages. Why does the Torah, that is often so sparing with words even when discussing important and eternal commandments and issues, allow itself to be so expansive and repetitive in this...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BAMIDBAR

I realize that I am making a very bad pun, but I must state that numbers really do count. The Torah takes us through the counting of the Jewish people many times and in detail. Though it may be difficult for us to understand why this should be so, the basic lesson that it teaches us is an important one for national survival. Simply put, we are being instructed that for Judaism and Jewishness to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

AVOT

Both the Mishnah and Talmud are unique in their style of composition for in effect it allows the students thousands of years later to feel as though they have entered into that ancient study hall to hear the discussion of the scholars of Israel. Though most of the text of the Mishnah covers matters of law, ritual, commandments and observances, the tractate called Avot deals almost exclusively...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BECHUKOTAI

The Torah reading of this week concludes the book of Vayikra. As is obvious to all who study this book, it is primarily concerned with laws and observances and the details connected to those Divine commandments. Even though the Torah had intimated previously that the observance of these commandments was not a matter of pure recommendation or suggestion but that they were mandatory conditions for...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DAYS IN MAY

There are times in life that one is able to see the beginning and end of an idea or movement in its entirety. When I was a child I remember vividly that the first day of May was called May Day and was the day of celebration of the proletariat Left. Fiery speeches, and loud bands, tens of thousands of marchers waving red flags all dominated the media and street of the day. The mood of the day...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert