Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

LOOKING FOR OURSELVES

There is a natural curiosity within each of us as to our origins and ancestry. There are even many organizations, professional, educational and commercial enterprises as well that are solely devoted to ancestral and genealogical searches. Building family trees is a very popular avocation in our world. All of this is very true in general society, but it is also a frequent occurrence in Jewish...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHOFTIM

The reading of this week deals with a basic human temptation and almost universal failing – corruption. Though the Torah speaks of actual physical and financial graft it certainly implies a broader message to not only to those in the judiciary but to others in positions of power. The Torah recognizes that human beings, by their very nature, have biases and prejudices. Some of these seem to be...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

A PARKING SPACE

Some people asked me – well, not too many people, in fact only a very few – how do I come up with topics to write about every week. And looking back at the situation, I must admit that I have been doing so for decades. So, it is reasonable to think that there really is nothing new that I could write about. But human society and individuals are so fascinating that there always is something...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RE’EH

The Torah presents us with a seemingly simple and uncomplicated choice in this week's reading - the choice between life and death. And the Torah deems it necessary to instruct us to choose life. It certainly seems at first glance to be a very superfluous instruction, for the instinct to preserve our lives for as long as possible is one of the basic drives of human beings. An equal part of our...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PICTURES

I am certain that all of you are aware that because of the ubiquitous camera, which is built into our mobile phones, many people now take a picture of anything and everything even if it does not really concern them or impact their lives. We live in a generation where everyone lives in the present and everything must be immediately recorded and disseminated as widely as possible. Because of this,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EKEV

In this week's Torah reading Moshe teaches us that he was instructed by heaven to construct an ark made of wood in order to house the two tablets of stone that he received on Sinai. I have written about this subject before and it is one that has been noted heavily by the commentators to the Torah. But I have become aware of an insight that I feel has great relevance to understanding many of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GENERATIONAL CONVERSATION

We are all aware that we will never again be as smart, perceptive, clever and knowledgeable as we were when we were 16 years old. There is no question that from that point of life onwards the trajectory is always downhill. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be said for age and experience and for the tempering of our views and opinions by the realities of life. One of the omnipresent...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAETCHANAN

The Torah reading of this week always coincides with the Shabbat that falls after the fast of the ninth day of Av. Because of the nature of the prophetic reading, it is seen as the Shabbat of comfort and consolation, which are difficult commodities to acquire. Tragedies are not easily erased from one's mind and affect one's permanent personality and view of life. Comfort and consolation rarely...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE NINTH OF AV

This coming Sunday will mark the anniversary of the day of destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans 1,949 years ago. 1,949 years is a very long time, even in terms of the span of human history. Great empires have risen to dominate the world over this period but without exception they have all crumbled and disappeared into the dustbin of history. Religions and beliefs arose and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DVARIM

This final book of the five books of the Torah is the great oration of Moshe at the conclusion of his 40 years of leadership and service to God and the Jewish people. In it he reviews the events of that period and his observations and comments regarding those events and the behavior of the people of Israel during those decades of miraculous existence in the desert of Sinai. The underlying...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert