Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE

Recently, the Secretary General of the United Nations commented, at last, on all of the terrorism against Israeli citizens perpetrated by many Palestinians. In essence, he said that the Israelis had it coming to them since they have been unable to satisfy all of the outrageous demands of the Palestinians that would automatically bring peace and light to our troubled land. Both the Prime...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

WINTER BLUES

Having lived in Israel for the past nineteen years, memories of winter in Monsey, New York have faded from my memory. That is not all that has faded from my memory but that is a different matter for a different discussion. Finding myself in Monsey at this time of the year, I have been experiencing weather that has been cold and very snowy. It is mid-winter here in the northeastern part of the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MISHPATIM

One would perhaps have thought that after the exalted experience of God’s revelation at Mount Sinai, the Torah would proceed to portray the idyllic life that Torah represents, both spiritually and physically. Instead, this week’s Torah reading describes a rather fractured world – one of slavery, criminal behavior, property disputes, physical assaults and negligent behavior. Would it not...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RIVALRIES

Being raised as an only child in my parents’ home I was spared the experiences and challenges of sibling rivalries. Not having anyone to compete with I was blissfully unaware that there were others who felt that they were also entitled to parental love, weekly allowances and unlimited bathroom privileges. No one ever dared to wear my clothing, play with my toys or read my books without my...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

YITRO

The mores present in today’s Western world seem to suggest that the Ten Commandments are, at best, recommendations but certainly not legal or moral mandatory obligations. The commandments that relate to money and to sexual probity are publicly violated, almost with impunity, on a seemingly daily basis. This is true with regard to all religious groups, including ours as well. One would have...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

BSHALACH

There is a great difference in the perception of a momentous historic event, between the generation that actually experienced it, was witness to and perhaps even participated in it, and later generations who know of the event through tradition and history. The facts regarding events can be transmitted from one generation to the next, even for thousands of years, but the emotional quality, the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE NON-SLIP TALIT

A dear friend and rabbinic colleague of mine casually mentioned to me that as a gift for his birthday his wife presented him with a new tallit - the kind that does not constantly slip off of one’s shoulders when in prayerful use. I was intrigued by this revelation on two counts. There are still spouses around who give each other birthday gifts?! And, secondly, is it possible that technology has...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BO

As the drama of the Exodus from Egypt draws nearer its climax in this week’s Torah reading, one cannot help but be struck by the stubbornness of Pharaoh in the face of all of the plagues visited upon him and his nation. His advisers had long before told him that all was lost and that he should cut his losses quickly by freeing the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. This seemingly wise and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DENIERS AND IGNORERS

I wrote an article last week about the strange Holocaust deniers who exist in the world, inside and outside of our Jewish camp and even in our religious world. The motives that drive such people are diverse and often perverse. They range from the smugness of knowing what God’s plans are and the assurance that those plans must somehow conform to one’s own preconceived assessment as to how...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE NEWEST HOLOCAUST DENIERS

I rarely if ever comment or disagree with pronouncements or public statements of other rabbis. These are people who are driven to publicity and even sensationalism and I never feel inclined to spoil their fun. However, every so often there comes along a rabbinic pronouncement so outrageous and damaging that even my reticent nature forces me to respond. A rabbi is reported in public print and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein