Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

The month of Tishrei with all of its dramatic and joyful holidays is behind us. More than one-third of that month is filled with holy days: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot/Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah. If one factors in the days of preparation and effort inherent in the proper observance of these holidays then it is no exaggeration to say that practically the whole month of Tishrei is a...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BERESHIT

The rabbis of the Talmud have taught us that all new beginnings are fraught with difficulties. This week

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PRICE GOUGING

When demand far outstrips supply, or when someone obtains a monopoly over goods that the public needs or wants, or when tragedies strike and people are forced to obtain certain goods and services to survive - in all of these circumstances greed takes over and the prices for these items are suddenly overly inflated. The Talmud calls this phenomenon hafkaat shearim - the "removal" of ordinary fair...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU

There are songs and there are songs. The song of Moshe and the people of Israel at Yam Suf is a song of victory and exultation. It is read in the synagogue with a special haunting melody that accompanies it. It is recited every morning in our daily prayer service and it is referred to every evening in the Maariv service. It is a song of hope and triumph. The song of Haazinu, which is read in this...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

FASTING

The Jewish people in this new year of 5766 are about to observe two fast days on consecutive Thursdays. The first Thursday, the day after Rosh Hashana, is the day of Tzom Gedalya. It commemorates the tragic assassination about twenty five hundred years ago of Gedalya ben Achikam, the provisional governor of Judah by fellow Jews. But the fast day really is also intended to set the tone for the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH

Moshe

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TWO RALLIES

Last Saturday night two different gatherings took place in my Jerusalem neighborhood. One was a rally for "peace" sponsored by the Geneva initiative and led by Yossi Beilin. This group met outside of the house of Prime Minister, barely two blocks from my residence. The Prime Minister was not home since he was busy meeting with his Security Cabinet, planning a response to the barrage of Kassam...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM

There is a cynical but unfortunately accurate statement rife in the ranks of diplomats that treaties are made to be broken. We here in Israel have plenty of experience with that viewpoint and assessment of international life. However, in this week

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SELICHOT POETRY

The Ashkenazic Jewish world begins its recitation of selichot - the penitential prayers of the season of the High Holy Days this coming Saturday night. Our Sephardic brethren have already been reciting their version of selichot for some weeks already, since the onset of the month of Elul. All of these prayers center about the continued recitation of the thirteen attributes of the Almighty as...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TAVO

This week's parsha deals with the frighteningly accurate prediction of the awful fate of the Jewish people over its long exile. The tochacha chillingly forecasts the horrors of the Holocaust and of all of the previous destructions, persecutions, pogroms and disasters that have befallen the Jews over the long centuries of dispersion. The Torah itself in a forthcoming parsha asks the obvious...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein