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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

YITRO

The fact that the Torah has seen fit to provide such a detailed narrative about the visit of the father-in-law of Moshe to the camp of Israel at the beginning of their sojourn in the desert of Sinai, teaches us a valuable lesson in life and human behavior. The truth is that all of us want to be validated by others. It is not enough that we believe in our cause or that we know what type of person...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TEXTING

I must preface this piece of writing by stating that I am a technological dinosaur. I hardly ever use my cell phone except in emergencies and when I am visiting outside of Israel. I do not have a smart phone or even a kosher phone. I just have an old-fashioned cell phone that only makes and receives calls. Additionally, I admit that I never text; I do not know how it is done. And, in any event,...

Posted in:
by
Faigie Gilbert

B’SHALACH

This week the Torah introduces us to the miraculous heavenly food – the mannah that fell from heaven and sustained the Jewish people for 40-years during their sojourn in the desert of Sinai. This food had miraculous qualities; it could acquire whatever taste the person eating it desired, it produced no waste material, but it had a very limited shelf life. It could not be stored for the next...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ELECTIONS

The national sport here in Israel is politics. Everyone engages in it and it is played at all levels of society, in the workplace, the family, in the synagogue and especially in local and national government. Elections are held frequently and are conducted in a vigorous and contentious manner, with no holds barred. No Israeli government coalition has ever served its entire mandated time and we...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

BO

At the beginning of this week's Torah reading Moshe is commanded by God to come to Pharaoh. The commentators of the Bible all deal with the strange verb used in this commandment. What does “bo” mean here – to come to Pharaoh? Should not a different verb such as approach or visit Pharaoh have been used? Since Hebrew is a very exact language, and as I have often mentioned, the opinion of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VICTIMHOOD

One of the most treasured psychological disorders that people love to retain for themselves is that of victimhood. Feeling that one is a victim, whether one really is or isn't, gives a person a sense of comfort. It no longer is the fault of the person no matter what that person does and no matter what the results of a person's actions are. It is simply the fact that everyone is against him,...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

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