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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

SHMINI

The parsha deals with the eighth day of the dedication of the Mishkan. In general, it can be stated that the eighth day after any event can be a time of challenge. The eighth day of life is the day of circumcision of male Jewish children. The eighth day – the day after the week of rejoicing of a young newly married couple - was and is the day when real married life with all of its joys and...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TZAV

The entire thrust of Torah life lies in the word tzav which informs us as the title of the parsha of this week. Tzav means command, order, instruct. It allows little leeway for individual creativity in the performance of ritual and commandments. The values of Torah life come with an instruction manual. And just as the wonderful gadgets of technology in our lives require adherence to the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIKRA

This Shabat we begin to read the book of Vayikra. This book of Vayikra has very little narrative to it and concentrates mainly on the sacrifices that were offered in the Temple service of the Mishkan and the Beit Hamikdash; the laws of purity and defilement; and a listing of many of the commandments of the Torah and Jewish ritual. This makes this section of the Torah a difficult one to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PEKUDEI

The end of the book of Shemot describes the culmination of the events of the exodus from Egypt, the revelation at Sinai and the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle. All of these events are certainly on the positive side of the historical ledger. On the other side that the book of Shemot represents there is the sin of the Golden Calf and the constant carping and complaining of the Jewish people...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYAKHEL

One of the main questions raised by the commentators to this week's parsha is why the Torah again discusses the prohibitions of the Sabbath. The Torah has done so a in the previous parshiyot of Shemot, so one might question this seemingly unwarranted repetition. In their comments, I feel one of the ideas presented to be especially relevant to our world. We do not find that at the time of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TISA

Even after millennia of analysis, commentary and sagacious insights, the story of the Jewish people creating and worshiping the Golden Calf, as recorded for us in this week's Torah reading, remains an enigma and a mystery. After all of the miracles of Egypt and the splitting of Yam Suf, manna from heaven and the revelation at Sinai, how is such a thing possible? The fact that our great...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TETZAVEH

If clothes make the man, the garments of the ordinary priests and the High Priest of Israel certainly grant them the authority and holiness of their offices. One of the major disqualifications that affected the priest’s ability to perform services in the Temple was that he lacked the proper clothing that characterized and identified him. We find generally in Jewish life that clothing plays an...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

The initial and most successful building campaign in Jewish history is recorded for us in this week's Torah reading. The Torah, in recounting the event, teaches us that Moshe was to accept offerings of gold, silver, copper, precious stones, weaving materials, acacia wood, artistic talent and everything else that would be necessary for the construction of the great tabernacle/Mishkan in the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

The Torah reading of this week deals with the difficulties and pettiness of human life. I find this to be extraordinary since only last week the Torah dealt with the exalted principles and values system of holiness as represented by the Ten Commandments. It seems to be a letdown to have to speak about oxen goring and people fighting, enslaving and damaging one another when we were apparently...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

There are two different viewpoints as to the timing and to the nature of the visit of Yitro to the Jewish encampment in the desert of Sinai. One opinion is that he came before the revelation of God to the Jews and the granting of the Torah to them. The other opinion is that he came after Sinai and the Torah revelation. I think that these two different opinions really delve into the character and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein