Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

PACKING A SUITCASE

I have had the good fortune this winter of attending a number of weddings of grandchildren in the United States. This naturally entailes traveling far distances, an experience, at my age, that no longer has the aura of glamour attached to it. Even with wheelchair and so-called VIP service present at all airports today, this is still a daunting challenge to elderly travelers, but, thank God, I...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

One of the greatest problems that has dogged religious life throughout the centuries is the place of material wealth and money in the structure of religious life. It is obvious to all that wealth corrupts and sullies noble programs and plans., The question boils down to the eternal issue as to whether the noble ends - Jewish education, synagogue worship, social charitable endeavors -- justify...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

What I find most striking about this very detailed, mainly legal and technical parsha of the Torah, is the brutal acknowledgement it makes of human nature and its weaknesses. One would think that after the exalted moment when the people of Israel accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai, when humankind finally achieved its highest moral and intellectual level, that the Torah would no longer find it...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MIRACLE FOOD

One of the great fantasies of human beings is the search for a miracle food that will heal our ills, prolong our lives and prevent us from gaining weight, no matter how much of it we consume. In addition, we want this food to be appetizing in appearance and taste. Presently there is no food known to mankind that fits this description, and there hasn’t been since our ancestors were expelled from...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Legends and Folklore

I have several calendars in my home. One is naturally a Jewish calendar for the year 5780, which details all the holidays and fast days of the Jewish year. I also have an Israeli calendar, which, in addition to listing all the Jewish holidays, also has Israel Independence Day, Jerusalem Day and Holocaust Remembrance Day, amongst others. But for good old times sake, I also have an American...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

We once again see in this week’s Torah reading the Torah’s penchant to use outsiders and their ideas to advance the welfare of the Jewish. People. After the granting of the Torah on Sinai, Moshe attempts to institute a one-man – himself – system of justice for the Jewish people. In theory, this is the ideal system, for everyone would wish to be heard and judged by Moshe. There cannot be...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE CONVENIENT SCAPEGOAT

Recently I was in a taxi as I had to go to a town approximately 45 minutes from Jerusalem. I am not by nature a very gregarious person or a constant conversationalist. I usually am a silent passenger when in a taxi, especially since the driver is a stranger to me, though I am very appreciative of his efforts and skills. As it happened, this taxi driver was determined to discuss with me all his...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BESHALACH

Miracles occur in all sizes and shapes. Some are major, completely aberrational and beyond natural or rational explanation. Other miracles that occur to us daily in our own lives take the form of being natural events and part of the rhythm of society and life. Major miracles command our attention, and as we see in this week's reading of the Torah, even cause us to sing eternal songs that extend...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NATIONAL DENIAL

One of the unique and exceptional facets of Jewish history and even of the biblical narrative regarding the story of the Jewish people is the fact that there is no attempt to whitewash or ignore where there are failings, serious mistakes, wrong policies or incorrect social behavior. The Torah, which is the template for all narratives in Jewish life, has, as its motto the seal of truth – truth...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BO

The Torah reading of this week begins with the Hebrew word ‘bo.’ This word literally means to enter. Normally, if we wish to describe crossing a threshold to appear before a person, the word ‘bo’ is not usually the verb that is used. To enter, in this instance, means to delve into the personality and the mind of the person, – to enter the conscience of that person, so to speak. So,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein