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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

ROSH HASHANA 5781

I believe that all of us can agree that this year the awesome days of Rosh Hashana will be different than in past years. Many of us may not even be allowed to attend the synagogue for public worship. Others will pray and assemble in open, outside areas. There is a rhythm to our holidays that this coronavirus has interrupted. Nevertheless, Rosh Hashana will take place and Jews worldwide will...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM – VAYELECH 5780

The very two words that signify the titles of the two portions of the Torah that we will hear in the synagogue this Shabbat are, at first glance, contradictory. Nitzavim signifies a solid stance, and unwavering presence, and a commanding appearance. It reflects an unchanging nature, and the necessary ability to stand one's ground. no matter what the circumstances of life. On the other hand,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RETURN AND REPENTANCE

We find ourselves towards the end of the month of Elul, standing before the great days of judgment, forgiveness, and renewed commitment. A few weeks ago, I happened to visit my physician on a relatively minor matter. As he handed me a prescription for a lotion that I should apply and a pill that I should take, he inquired as to whether I had ever been vaccinated for pneumonia. When I told him...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TAVO

I have in earlier years written about the strange requirement that the Torah imposes upon the Jewish farmer in the land of Israel when he brings his first crop of the year to Jerusalem as an offering in the Temple. However, I want to reiterate and expand on the matter once again in this short article because I believe it to be of vital and relevant importance to us in our times. The Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TETZEI 5780

The Torah always views life as a struggle, a conflict between the various natures that exist within each human being, a fight between rational good and instinctive evil. Rashi points out in his commentary to this week's Torah reading, that the Torah is addressing itself directly to the evil instinct that lies within all of us and warns us. Even if we do not behave in an illegal manner, unpleasant...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ALL ZOOMED OUT

Like many other rabbis and teachers, I have been delivering lectures and teaching Torah to a mostly unseen audience via the technological wonder called Zoom. Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the mandatory governmental ordered lockdowns and assorted prohibitions regarding gathering in public places, especially synagogues, I have had little choice in the matter. I believe that I have...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SPIRITUAL FALLOUT

The current Corona epidemic has created many types of victims in its wake. Tragically, it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have died from the effects of the virus, out of the millions of others, really tens if not hundreds of millions of others, who contracted the disease. Thank God, over 90% of those who were sick have recovered and even though there is some anecdotal...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHOFTIM 5780

It can be said that the Torah is in favor of law and order. In this week's reading, the Torah prescribes a system of judges, courts, and police. The Torah apparently takes it for granted that no society can really function without these institutions of law and protection. The Torah warns us that these institutions must be ones of righteousness, fairness, and even altruism, but they must exist...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RE’EH

To Moshe, life choices are clear and self-evident. He tells the Jewish people to merely look, and they will see the difference between life and death, good and evil, eternity and time-burdened irrelevance. He implores the Jewish people to use their common sense, to pay attention to the experiences over the past 40 years in the desert, and their story. Then, they will be able to clearly see their...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

COMMON SENSE

One of the problems of the concept of common sense is that it is really an oxymoron. Sense is anything but common in human affairs and amongst human beings. King Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, devotes much of its contents explaining that fools in this world far outnumber those that are wise and sensible. There are many things in life that should be self-evident to anyone that bothers to...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein