Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

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

The Good Old Days

I have noticed that as I become older and older, the good old days become ‘gooder and gooder.’ Now naturally we are all victims of selective memory and warm nostalgia, nevertheless as I have just returned from a family wedding in the United States, I am definitely under the impression that the good old days of American society were surely better than the current state of political and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Vaeira

This week’s Torah reading contains the four famous words of redemption that signal the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt. Much has been made over the centuries as to the meaning and implication of each of these four Hebrew verbs. The fact that there are four such words used in the narrative of redemption fits the pattern that we find in the Hagaddah of Pesach – four sons, four...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Walking the Dog

Every morning, there are people in my congregation who are kind enough to drive me to the synagogue for the morning services. I meet them at the corner, and since I do not like that people should have to wait for me, I usually am there a few minutes early. This allows me to survey the scene and gather my thoughts before the moments of prayer and contemplation. I have noticed over the past few...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert