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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

A BABY IN THE HOUSE

Over the recent holiday of Succot, my great grandson Zev came to Israel and stayed with me in my home for almost two weeks. Since he is only six months old he naturally brought his parents with him, also very dear to me but certainly not as cute as Zev. It has been many years since I had such a young baby reside with me for that length of time. I had forgotten the wonders that accompany a baby...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LECH LECHA

The pace of the narrative of the Torah abruptly changes with the events described in this week’s reading. Until now the Torah has dealt with large periods of time and many many generations and different numbers of human beings and nations. It concerns itself apparently with a broad overview of the origins of human civilization and of the formation of societies, tribes and nations. Its...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NOACH

The opening sections of the Torah with which we are currently engaged in studying, deal with one of the central problems of human existence and that is the ability to cope with tragedy, disappointment and frustration. The adjustment of human beings to being driven out of the Garden of Eden is really the entire story of human civilization and of its very bleak moments. This week we read of the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HALF BIRTHDAYS

I have long noted that when one speaks to small children and asks them their age they will often answer in terms of half birthdays. They will say that they are four and a half or five and a half years old. This is because when we are very young we are anxious to become older and to possess the enticing fruit of privileges granted to children as they advance in years. This idea of half birthdays...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BERESHITH

There is a tendency to look at the narrative that appears in this first portion of the Torah as being a description of the past – the story of the beginnings of creation, the planet and universe and of the story of civilization. However, we are taught in the traditions of Judaism that the Lord, so to speak, creates our universe and world anew each day. Thus, the narrative contained in this...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GENERATIONS OF DEPENDENCE AND POVERTY

One of the saddest and most disturbing aspects in much of our society is the continuity of dependence and poverty within families from one generation to the next. As a Rabbi, I receive many requests to help the needy on a regular and constant basis. Within my limited abilities, I do what I can or at least what I think I can. Some years ago, there was a young woman who came to me and asked if...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SUKKOT

Living here in Israel allows one to gain a deeper appreciation of the holidays of the Jewish calendar. In their deepest sense, they were all meant to be observed here in Israel. Perhaps that is what our rabbis intended when they cryptically said that the observance of the Commandments of the Torah that the Jewish people have fulfilled and continue to practice in the Diaspora is really a training...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

HAAZINU

All Jewish history, past, present and future, is on parade before our eyes and ears in this final section of the great oration of Moshe to the Jewish people before his passing. The greatness and pettiness, the holiness and decadence of the people are in the immortal words of this week’s Torah reading. But it is the first word of that reading that conveys the entire idea of Moshe’s message. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE ZEALOTS AMONG US

A great many decades ago when I was yet the student in my beloved yeshiva on the old west side of Chicago, I remember that one of my great teachers told us an anecdote that points to an eternal truth regarding people and their personal ideologies and beliefs. He said that both the cat and the owner of the house are opposed to rats and mice. The difference however is that the owner of the house...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH

Moshe, our great teacher and leader, the greatest of all prophets and the lawgiver of the Torah to Israel and the world, remains in his role as the greatest teacher even on his last day at on earth. And the words of Moshe, as recorded for us in this week’s Torah reading, are probably some of the strongest words of prophecy that exist in the Holy Scriptures. Moshe, like all great teachers,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein