Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

VAYELECH

Moshe, our great teacher and leader, the greatest of all prophets and the lawgiver of the Torah to Israel and the world, remains in his role as the greatest teacher even on his last day at on earth. And the words of Moshe, as recorded for us in this week’s Torah reading, are probably some of the strongest words of prophecy that exist in the Holy Scriptures. Moshe, like all great teachers,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LEARNING HOW TO LOSE

I recently read an article that featured an interview with a famous and gifted American baseball player. Most athletes when they are questioned or interviewed by the media respond almost like robots with clichés and nice-sounding phrases, which mean absolutely nothing. This athlete in the interview was asked what great benefit he derived from his career in baseball. Instead of the usual answer...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM

After centuries of enslavement in Egypt and decades of wandering in a trackless and forbidding desert, our teacher Moshe points out the obvious. Namely, that the Jewish people are still standing strong and resilient and about to embark on the great adventure of creating Jewish national sovereignty in the land of Israel. However, often in life the obvious is not so obvious and we are unable to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER OSLO

A most controversial anniversary was marked here in Israel this month. A quarter of a century ago Israel signed the Oslo agreements establishing the Palestinian Authority and giving it control over millions of people and a large swath of territory in the land of Israel. This anniversary was marked in almost complete silence here in Israel. The hopes and optimism engendered by the Oslo...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TAVO

Throughout this final oration of Moshe, he constantly emphasizes that when the Jewish people finally cross the Jordan and enter the land of Israel there are additional commandments and behavior patterns that will be demanded of them. He reiterates that the land of Israel is bountiful and beautiful, blessed and holy but he warns them that this is a venue that makes demands upon its...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

GOVERNMENT AND RELIGION

Over the span of the millennia of recorded history it is obvious to note that governments of old always either opposed or corrupted religious beliefs for their own benefit or to make religion conform to the politically correct ideas and norms of a time. In the ancient world, governments relied on paganism to strengthen their hold on the people and to create tyrannies. The Roman emperors felt...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TETITZEI

The Torah in this week's reading speaks about wars against our enemies. Unfortunately, over the long period of Jewish history and today as well there is no shortage of enemies arrayed against Israel and the Jewish people. The Torah does not enumerate who these enemies are, it just states generally that there certainly will be enemies and constant struggles and challenges, a strange but...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Talmud records for us that the great scholar Choni Hamgael slumbered for a period of seventy years. When he awoke he looked around and saw an entirely new and different world than the one that he knew before his sleep. Society had changed drastically, and he realized that somehow, he was unable to adjust to the new world that surrounded it. As a result, he asked that the Lord take him from...

Posted in:
Jewish Thought
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHOFTIM

The Torah deals with human realities and not with imaginary paradises and utopian societies. As such, the Torah pre-supposes that there will be disagreements and altercations between human beings even in the Jewish society that allegedly should be protected from these untoward events by simply observing the values and ordinances of the Torah. Human beings are contentious creatures and their...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LOOKING FORWARD

Though we are always filled with warmth when looking back at our personal and national lives, Judaism and Jewish life are built upon the idea that we must look forward as well…..and on a constant basis. There is much evidence, both psychological and physical, that when people have an event to look forward to, somehow they have greater powers of physical survival and mental acumen. Simply...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein