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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Balak 5782

We are taught in the book of Mishlei-Proverbs by King Solomon that it is better to hear criticism from a friend than compliments from someone who is truly one's enemy. This week's Torah reading abounds in compliments given to the Jewish people by the leading prophet of the non-Jewish world, Bilaam. From all of the compliments showered upon us by this person of evil, we are able learn the true...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

CHUKAT 5782

The Torah reading of this week deals with a ritual in the Temple – that of the Red Heifer – which is characterized as being a commandment beyond the ken of human understanding and rational interpretation. It remains a primary example of certain commandments that, at their very core, are not easily interpreted or made relevant to human behavior, nor to moral understanding and judgment. ...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Korach 5782

This week's reading describes the rebellion of Korach and other disastrous incidents that occurred to the generation that left Egypt, who were destined to expire in the desert of Sinai. After the previous debacles: the complaints against Moshe by Miriam and Aaron, the demand for food, the ingratitude towards the manna that fell from heaven, the failed mission of the spies who visited the land of...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHELACH 5782

We are taught by a Mishnah in Avot that the Jewish people, as represented by the generation of the Sinai desert, tested the Lord 10 times. The idea of testing God is a difficult one to understand and appreciate. This is particularly so when we can see that this generation did not learn from experience. Each test in turn failed to achieve anything other than harming that generation and dooming it...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BEHALOTCHA 5782

One of the tasks of the Priests in the Tabernacle and in the Temple was the rekindling of the great Candelabra on a daily basis. We are taught in this week's Torah reading that the Priest had to keep the flame, with which he was lighting the wicks of the lamps, next to those wicks until the lamp wick caught hold and was able to burn by itself. Over the ages, this has become the metaphor for...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

Nasso 5782

The book of Bamidbar contains many puzzling portions. In this week's Parsha, the Torah records the sacrificial offerings by the leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel, upon the dedication and consecration of the tabernacle. These twelve offerings were identical in every detail. Yet, the Torah describes each of these offerings individually, as though the offering of each leader was his decision...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BAMIDBAR 5782

This week's reading as well as the entire book of Bamidbar is replete with the numbers of the populations of the Jewish people in the desert of Sinai. Slightly more than 600,000 male Jews over the age of twenty comprise the population of the Jewish people under the leadership of Moshe. Extrapolating the old, the young, infirmed, the women and the multitudes of people of other nations that left...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BECHUKOTAI 5782

This week's Torah reading marks the end of the book of Vayikra. This, the third book of the Torah, is replete with laws, commandments, and descriptions of Temple services. It is also the book that contains the fundamental principles of human relationships, as envisioned by the Torah and Jewish tradition. It is a book about holiness, but not only about ritual holiness or Temple service, but also...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BEHAR 5782

This week's portion creates an eternal connection between Mount Sinai, the Jewish people, and the Torah itself. The fact that the Torah emphasizes its eternal association with Mount Sinai is meant to teach us important lessons regarding Judaism and Jewish life. There are grand and majestic mountains that dot our planet. They are awe-inspiring in their height and strength, and they tower over...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EMOR 5782

One of the central themes in this week's Torah reading concerns the special and unique laws and commandments that pertain to the kohanim – the family of Aaron who became the priests of Israel. While the people of Israel did not democratically elect them to serve in that exalted role, they were, rather, appointed to their duties and status by the will of Heaven, as expressed through Moshe. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein