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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

KORACH

In last week’s parsha Rashi commented that when the Jewish people stated that they wanted to return to Egypt rather than proceeding to the Land of Israel they thereby intimated that they wanted to replace Moshe as their leader and crown a new king over them. In this week’s parsha, that earlier murmur of dissatisfaction with Moshe and his leadership becomes a full-throated shout. Korach...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHLACH

Moshe, at the behest and request of the Jewish people, chooses twelve outstanding leaders and orders them to embark on a mission of spying regarding the Land of Israel and its current Canaanite population. Moshe is confident that this mission will reinforce the enthusiasm and commitment of the Jewish people to settle and build their national homeland, promised to them by God through their...

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Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

FIFA AND RABBI RISKIN

There is much irony present in the news of the day and there also are connections between stories about apparently disparate subjects that can be easily overlooked. As unlikely as it seems, I discern a distinct connection between the debacle and justified humbling of FIFA – the self-proclaimed holy guardian of world football/soccer and of international sports generally – and the ill-timed,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’HALOTCHA

Without warning disaster strikes the people of Israel on their journey to the Land of Israel. Moshe boldly proclaimed that “we are traveling now on the way to the land of our destination.” The tribes have been numbered and counted, assigned flags and positions of march and they are accompanied on their journey by the Tabernacle of God placed in their midst. Everything is seemingly poised for...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

‘FIFE’ ON FIFA

Last week there were many dramas that took place regarding the international soccer association known as FIFA. Many of its top officials were arrested and more were indicted in the United States for brazenly corrupt practices. They were charged with accepting millions of dollars in bribes in assigning venues for the World Cup and other major soccer sporting events. The head of the...

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Rabbi Berel Wein

NASSO

The tribe of Levi always seemed to have special responsibilities and privileges within the Jewish people. Our father Jacob spoke harshly of their father’s tendency to be impetuous and even violent, albeit for what was believed to be a holy and necessary cause. As a result of this admonition of Jacob, the tribe of Levi first assigned for itself a roll of service to the community of Israel and of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

I’VE GOT YOUR BACK

The president of the United States has recently reassured us and proclaimed that “America has Israel’s back”. Given the recent controversies between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the United States, this message was meant to soothe the relationship between the two countries and to allow for a more positive progression of policies that would be in their mutual interest. ...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

במדבר

המסר העיקרי בפרשת השבוע וגם בחלק גדול מהתוכן של חומש במדבר הוא שאנחנו לא רק מחשבים מספרים אלא שחיים היהודים המספרים גם נחשבים. התורה מדגישה את העובדה שבלי יהודים אין יהדות. היהדות איננה רעיון או פילוסופיה. היא אמורה...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

שבועות

חמישים יום חולפים מהר, במיוחד כאשר סופרים כל יום ויום. נדמה שרק אתמול התכוננו לשבת לשולחן סדר פסח, והנה חג שבועות חל בסוף השבוע הזה. על אף שיש לחג הזה כמה שמות, חג הביכורים, חג מתן תורה, השם המקובל שלו, ובצדק, הוא חג...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BAMIDBAR

The main message that is contained in this week’s Torah reading, as well as in much of the content of the chumash of Bamidbar, is that one does not only count numbers but that numbers really count in Jewish life. The Torah emphasizes for us the fact that without Jews there is no Judaism. Judaism is not an idea or a philosophy. It is meant to be a living organism and that requires human...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein