Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BEING GOOD

We are currently in a period of repentance and thoughtful analysis of our lives and deeds. We tend to think this applies to our behavior and actions, to what we have or haven’t done, and to pledge ourselves to better conduct. This is partially true, but I feel that there is a very important point that is especially crucial in current society and especially regarding the family today. We...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH

The Torah reading of this week describes our great teacher and leader Moshe as ‘going,’ though the Torah does not indicate to what destination. This is an indication of the personality and life achievements of Moshe - a person who is constantly growing. He aspires to greatness and pursues this goal. Though he initially attempts to escape from the burden of leading the Jewish people and even...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM

This week's reading in the Torah describes the eternal binding covenant between God and the Jewish people. This covenant has played itself out over thousands of years of world history and remains valid and operative today as it did on the day that Moshe presented it to the Jewish people at the end of his life. The covenant is all-encompassing and applies to all who were members of the Jewish...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ROSH HASHANA

The concept of beginning a new year, of giving the new year a different number than that of the year just past, is an essential part of human nature. All human beings desire the ability to begin anew as well as to have an opportunity to reflect on accomplishments and achievements. If we live in a constant cycle of time without the blessings of new beginnings, life would be depressing and almost...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL

Historians over the past few centuries have been heavily influenced by a Marxist view of the world and of human events. In this understanding of the past, present and future, great external forces such as the competition of the classes, stages of economic development and powerful historical and sociological forces somehow determine human behavior and explain human history as well as current...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TAVO

Saying thank you is one of the basic courtesies of human interaction. Though elementary and straightforward, it is often forgotten or neglected. In saying thank you, we are acknowledging that we are dependent upon the goodness and consideration of others and that we are not completely in control over events and even of our own decisions in life. In traditional homes, both Jewish and general,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PASSAGE OF TIME

It is common to mark our lives by measuring the passage of time. This is completely natural since we are mortal, and time has become the most precious of all worldly commodities. As we stand at the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year, we certainly think of ourselves in terms of time – past, present and future. Yet, we realize that we do not really control our time but rather...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TEITZEI

This week’s Torah portion deals with many different issues of human behavior and family relations. We are all aware that the relationships between parents and children, as well as between other relatives in the same family are often difficult ones and fraught with potential danger, frustration and even tragedy. People within a family are very capable of disliking and even hating one another...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LOOKING FOR OURSELVES

There is a natural curiosity within each of us as to our origins and ancestry. There are even many organizations, professional, educational and commercial enterprises as well that are solely devoted to ancestral and genealogical searches. Building family trees is a very popular avocation in our world. All of this is very true in general society, but it is also a frequent occurrence in Jewish...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHOFTIM

The reading of this week deals with a basic human temptation and almost universal failing – corruption. Though the Torah speaks of actual physical and financial graft it certainly implies a broader message to not only to those in the judiciary but to others in positions of power. The Torah recognizes that human beings, by their very nature, have biases and prejudices. Some of these seem to be...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein