Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

TERUMAH

Even though the Lord requires no building or special place in the universe that He created, the Jewish people are commanded in this week's reading of the Torah to donate special materials and talented labor to begin the construction of such a building, where the spirit of the Lord, so to speak, will reign. There have been many ideas advanced over the ages as to why such a building was ever...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE PESSIMISTS AMONGST US

Purely on an anecdotal basis, I believe that the diehard secular leftists amongst us are pessimistic people. In a recent article written by the Israeli historian Benny Morris and published in the Haaretz newspaper – where else but there could this be published – he posited that the Jewish state here in the land of Israel is doomed to disappear within the next half century. He based this...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

It is difficult, in the extreme, to understand the concluding part of this week's Torah reading. It is recorded that the noble people of Israel somehow gazed and saw the likeness of heaven and they were not immediately punished nor struck down for having done so. The Torah has made it abundantly clear in many places that no human being while alive can see, so to speak, a corporeal vision of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE CURSE OF HABITUAL POVERTY

A recent report broadcast on Israeli radio detailed the fact that approximately 50% of all of those who declared bankruptcy and were eventually freed from the clutches of the creditors to whom they owed money, within a few years found themselves once again heavily in debt and living a life of moderate to abject poverty. The sociologists and economists who prepared this report had many...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

YITRO

The fact that the Torah has seen fit to provide such a detailed narrative about the visit of the father-in-law of Moshe to the camp of Israel at the beginning of their sojourn in the desert of Sinai, teaches us a valuable lesson in life and human behavior. The truth is that all of us want to be validated by others. It is not enough that we believe in our cause or that we know what type of person...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TEXTING

I must preface this piece of writing by stating that I am a technological dinosaur. I hardly ever use my cell phone except in emergencies and when I am visiting outside of Israel. I do not have a smart phone or even a kosher phone. I just have an old-fashioned cell phone that only makes and receives calls. Additionally, I admit that I never text; I do not know how it is done. And, in any event,...

Posted in:
by
Faigie Gilbert

B’SHALACH

This week the Torah introduces us to the miraculous heavenly food – the mannah that fell from heaven and sustained the Jewish people for 40-years during their sojourn in the desert of Sinai. This food had miraculous qualities; it could acquire whatever taste the person eating it desired, it produced no waste material, but it had a very limited shelf life. It could not be stored for the next...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ELECTIONS

The national sport here in Israel is politics. Everyone engages in it and it is played at all levels of society, in the workplace, the family, in the synagogue and especially in local and national government. Elections are held frequently and are conducted in a vigorous and contentious manner, with no holds barred. No Israeli government coalition has ever served its entire mandated time and we...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

BO

At the beginning of this week's Torah reading Moshe is commanded by God to come to Pharaoh. The commentators of the Bible all deal with the strange verb used in this commandment. What does “bo” mean here – to come to Pharaoh? Should not a different verb such as approach or visit Pharaoh have been used? Since Hebrew is a very exact language, and as I have often mentioned, the opinion of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VICTIMHOOD

One of the most treasured psychological disorders that people love to retain for themselves is that of victimhood. Feeling that one is a victim, whether one really is or isn't, gives a person a sense of comfort. It no longer is the fault of the person no matter what that person does and no matter what the results of a person's actions are. It is simply the fact that everyone is against him,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein