Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

IT LOOKS GOOD

We are all aware that looks can be quite deceiving. When the Torah describes for us the concept of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, it refers to it as being most desirous and pleasant in the eyes of our mother Eve. As we all know, this became the source of human mortality and the bitter sin that led to expulsion from Paradise. So, the lesson should be obvious that not everything that looks...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUKKOT

The holiday of Sukkot is a special and joyous one throughout the Jewish world wherever it is commemorated. But, here in the holy city of Jerusalem, it is uniquely joyous. Jerusalem is inundated with visitors who arrive here from every corner of the world and represent not only the variety of people that compose the Jewish people but also tens of thousands of people of other faiths and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU

Our great teacher Moshe, in his concluding hymn regarding the future of the Jewish people, calls as his witnesses heaven and earth. These witnesses are, in human terms, eternal and omnipresent. They will always be there to testify that Moshe concluded a binding covenant between God and Israel, and that this covenant is a symbol of eternity and destiny. Heaven and earth represent the physical...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BEING GOOD

We are currently in a period of repentance and thoughtful analysis of our lives and deeds. We tend to think this applies to our behavior and actions, to what we have or haven’t done, and to pledge ourselves to better conduct. This is partially true, but I feel that there is a very important point that is especially crucial in current society and especially regarding the family today. We...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH

The Torah reading of this week describes our great teacher and leader Moshe as ‘going,’ though the Torah does not indicate to what destination. This is an indication of the personality and life achievements of Moshe - a person who is constantly growing. He aspires to greatness and pursues this goal. Though he initially attempts to escape from the burden of leading the Jewish people and even...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM

This week's reading in the Torah describes the eternal binding covenant between God and the Jewish people. This covenant has played itself out over thousands of years of world history and remains valid and operative today as it did on the day that Moshe presented it to the Jewish people at the end of his life. The covenant is all-encompassing and applies to all who were members of the Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ROSH HASHANA

The concept of beginning a new year, of giving the new year a different number than that of the year just past, is an essential part of human nature. All human beings desire the ability to begin anew as well as to have an opportunity to reflect on accomplishments and achievements. If we live in a constant cycle of time without the blessings of new beginnings, life would be depressing and almost...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL

Historians over the past few centuries have been heavily influenced by a Marxist view of the world and of human events. In this understanding of the past, present and future, great external forces such as the competition of the classes, stages of economic development and powerful historical and sociological forces somehow determine human behavior and explain human history as well as current...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TAVO

Saying thank you is one of the basic courtesies of human interaction. Though elementary and straightforward, it is often forgotten or neglected. In saying thank you, we are acknowledging that we are dependent upon the goodness and consideration of others and that we are not completely in control over events and even of our own decisions in life. In traditional homes, both Jewish and general,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PASSAGE OF TIME

It is common to mark our lives by measuring the passage of time. This is completely natural since we are mortal, and time has become the most precious of all worldly commodities. As we stand at the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year, we certainly think of ourselves in terms of time – past, present and future. Yet, we realize that we do not really control our time but rather...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein