Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

VAYAKHEL – PIKUDEI

Moshe gathers all of the people of Israel into the courtyard of the Tabernacle to instruct them about the observance of the sanctity of Shabbat, That is the content of the lead verse of this week’s Torah reading, The obvious question raised by all of the Torah commentators is whether there was insufficient physical space outside the Tabernacle to hold the entire population of the Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Going to a Concert

Several weeks ago, in spite of all of the dire warnings regarding the corona virus, I attended a concert of great cantors here in Jerusalem. It was a beautiful concert and all the performers were in excellent voice. They were accompanied by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and by a choir of many dozens of fine tenor, baritone, and bass voices. I don't often go to concerts - in fact, this is the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TISA

One of the more mystical rituals in the mishkan was the ktoret – the offering of incense on the altar. The incense, when burned by fire, provided a fragrant cloud of smoke that permeated the tent of the mishkan. The Torah is very exact and detailed in describing the ingredients and formula that formed the ktoret in the mishkan and later in the Temple, which produced this powerful fragrance. The...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MY LOST WALLET

When I recently returned from my trip to the United States to attend the wedding of my grandson, I arrived back here in Jerusalem in the early evening. As can well be imagined, I was very tired, so I didn't immediately unpack everything. Instead, I went to bed about an hour after I arrived. I had placed my wallet into my carry-on bag, and I gave it no further notice until the next morning, when...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Airports

Over the past few months, I have traveled several times from Israel to the United States in order to attend happy occasions in my family. Because my children live in various areas of the United States, I always ask to transfer from the New York airports to fly to Chicago or Phoenix or Houston or St. Louis in order to fulfill my familial obligations. I am very averse to having close connections...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TETZAVEH

The Torah reading of this week establishes for us the commandment of having an eternal flame burn in the Mishkan and later in the Temple in Jerusalem as well. This commandment is repeated regarding the Altar in the Mishkan and in the Temple where an eternal flame was also to be present on the Altar of sacrifices. The concept and symbol of an eternal flame has been repeated throughout Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PACKING A SUITCASE

I have had the good fortune this winter of attending a number of weddings of grandchildren in the United States. This naturally entailes traveling far distances, an experience, at my age, that no longer has the aura of glamour attached to it. Even with wheelchair and so-called VIP service present at all airports today, this is still a daunting challenge to elderly travelers, but, thank God, I...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TERUMAH

One of the greatest problems that has dogged religious life throughout the centuries is the place of material wealth and money in the structure of religious life. It is obvious to all that wealth corrupts and sullies noble programs and plans., The question boils down to the eternal issue as to whether the noble ends - Jewish education, synagogue worship, social charitable endeavors -- justify...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

What I find most striking about this very detailed, mainly legal and technical parsha of the Torah, is the brutal acknowledgement it makes of human nature and its weaknesses. One would think that after the exalted moment when the people of Israel accepted the Torah at Mount Sinai, when humankind finally achieved its highest moral and intellectual level, that the Torah would no longer find it...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MIRACLE FOOD

One of the great fantasies of human beings is the search for a miracle food that will heal our ills, prolong our lives and prevent us from gaining weight, no matter how much of it we consume. In addition, we want this food to be appetizing in appearance and taste. Presently there is no food known to mankind that fits this description, and there hasn’t been since our ancestors were expelled from...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein