Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

OPPORTUNITIES

The distressing events of the past two weeks here in Israel have left us all in a state of sadness and depression. No matter what one's opinion is regarding the government's policies, the events and pictures of the evictions from Gaza are burned into our minds in a tragic manner. Yet, in a perverse and perplexing sense, I believe these events present the religious community here in Israel, if not...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EKEV

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE COMFORT ZONE

The seven weeks that stretch from Tisha B'Av until Rosh Hashana are the seven weeks of comfort - <i>shiva d'nechemta.</i> The haftorot that are read on the Sabbath during these seven weeks are all taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah and predict better times ahead for Israel and humankind generally. The Hebrew word nechama, which is usually translated as comfort or condolence, has a deeper...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAETCHANAN

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SAD TIMES

The Tisha B'Av season carries with it many sad and bitter memories for the Jewish people. The destruction of both the first and second Temples occurred on that date and these events are the primary reasons for the commemoration of the day as being one of fasting and mourning. However, over the long centuries of Jewish exile other tragic events occurred during the Tisha B'Av season and their...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DVARIM

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LEADERSHIP

Throughout the ages, Jewish leadership has almost always been defined in terms of knowledge, intelligence, vision and personal integrity. The paradigm of Jewish leadership was established by our first national leader, Moshe, and traces its line through the other biblical leaders and later through the great men of the Mishna and the Talmud. Through the long night of the Jewish exile, the leaders...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DAYS OF FASTING

Having just recently passed through the fast day of the Seventeenth of Tammuz, the Jewish world sadly prepares for the fast day of the Ninth of Av, the day that marks the destruction of both Temples and commemorates other later national tragedies in Jewish history. The penultimate day of fasting on the Jewish calendar is naturally Yom Kippur. However, Yom Kippur differs from the other four...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

JEWISH MUSIC

Over the ages, Jewish music, so to speak, has always been religious, prayer music. However, over the past half century, really beginning with the Shlomo Carlebach era, Jewish music has branched out. In Israel, the popular songs and performers, although using Hebrew as the language of the lyrics, are not really in the Jewish music genre. The songs are the same in content and style as pop music the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAXI DRIVERS

One of the most storied professions in Jewish lore is that of the baal agalah - literally, the owner of the wagon. Until the advent of the automobile and its attendant spin-offs - buses, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, etc. - a horse or donkey and wagon was the staple method of ground transportation. The other alternative was to walk, a method of transportation used by most of humanity most...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein