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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

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

RE’EH

There are many things in life that appear to be simple and logical to one person and yet remain beyond the understanding of one’s companion, friend or acquaintance. To our great teacher Moshe, someone who is blessed with the immense powers of prophecy and who is spiritually able to communicate with Heaven almost at will, the mission of life and of the Jewish people is simple and visible to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HATRED

The rabbis of the Talmud have taught us that there are two opposite emotions that distort our thinking and cause human beings – even otherwise capable and talented human beings – to behave in an irrational manner. These two emotions on the surface appear to be polar opposites. They are love and hate. But psychologists have long taught us that not only are these emotions not necessarily...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EKEV

There is a subdued sense of frustration and even disappointment in the words of Moshe as he speaks to the Jewish people throughout this entire book of Dvarim. This sense of frustration is akin to that of a parent speaking to a recalcitrant teenage child who simply does not understand the ramifications of his/her behavior and the reality of the ways of the world. Since perhaps many if not...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RESILIENCE

Challenges, difficulties and even tragedies in personal and national life are, to a very great extent, unavoidable and in many cases not even preventable. Because of this, the test in life becomes not only how did one deal with the problem but rather how did one recover after the problem proved so devastating. The key to recovery from sad occurrences is therefore resilience – the ability to...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein