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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Vaeira

When the hardships imposed upon the Israelites became oppressive, Moses complains to heaven that the promises made to him have not been fulfilled. He has come to Pharaoh to ask him to free the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage, and Pharaoh laughs at him and tells him to forget it. In addition, the Jewish people themselves are not really believers in Moses, or in the fact that they...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Shemot

This week's portion records for us the beginning of the career of the great teacher of Israel, and in fact of all of civilization, Moshe. We are told of his miraculous salvation as a child from the River Nile and of the fact that he was raised by the daughter of the pharaoh in luxury and security. However, when he reaches an age of maturity, he realizes that the Egyptians are...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ELAL

Over the past few months I have had the occasion to travel between Israel and the United States a number of times. I do so on my favorite airline, El Al Israel. I enjoy being on El Al because, as their motto states, it makes you feel at home more than any other airline in the world. On El Al everyone is eating kosher, its planes don't fly on the Sabbath and the passengers can get up and pray...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYECHI

The era of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people ends with this week’s Torah reading. There are times when the passing of a generation happens without even notice. But there are other times when even a casual observer of the world scene realizes that the old era has ended and that a new one is about to begin. The passing of Jacob and his children, in the entire generation of the 70...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE PAST AND THE FUTURE

Judaism preaches a forward-looking outlook on life and a positive take on the human situation. It also encourages, in fact commands, that even though one is to concentrate on the future, one is never to forget the past. For what happened in the past to a great degree shapes our future and influences it greatly. Much of our current society is solely enmeshed in the present and has little...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIGASH

After Joseph is reunited with his brothers, and Jacob and his family journey to Egypt to settle there, Joseph brings his aged father in front of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh, who was Emperor then of the entire civilized world, asks Jacob a strange question. He asks him: " How old are you?" On the surface, this can appear to be a natural question that people ask when encountering someone of very...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

EMAILS NOT READ

Like most of us today I receive a great deal of email from people and companies whom I do not know and have no connection to. Most of the emails that I receive fall into the category of spam and are rapidly deleted. However, I am a creature of habit and I look at my email inbox regularly, sometimes more than once a day. I am always hopeful that there will be an email of importance, intelligence...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Being Aware of Hellenism Today

The holiday of Hanukah marks the struggle between the Hellenistic view of the world and of life and that of traditional Judaism and the values that it represented and continues to represent. The Hellenistic world was a superstitious world. It was a world where human beings were represented as gods, and a world of paganism, where idols, icons and statues were all glorified and worshiped,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

Miketz

In this week's Torah reading, we read of the dreams of the Pharaoh of Egypt. The Torah does not identify who this Pharaoh was. We know nothing about him, we know nothing as to how he became the Pharaoh. He is a complete mystery, yet he is the catalyst for everything that will happen. He will be the one who has Joseph released from prison. He is the one that will make Joseph the viceroy of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LESS DIFFERENCES, MORE UNITY, A STRONG ORTHODOXY

During my recent trip to the United States I had the honor of addressing the student bodies of different Orthodox educational institutions. These institutions were of diverse streams of Orthodoxy. Some refer to themselves as modern Orthodox, while others claim to be more authentic, so to speak, and less open to the culture and ideals of the modern world. At the various venues, some of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein