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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

CHUKAT

In the Torah reading of this week we are reminded that one of the traits that Judaism emphasizes and encourages is that of obedience. Obedience requires a suspension of one’s own thought process and even behavior. Since this is not usually an acceptable state of being for humans, there is a natural tendency for disobedience and even rebellion. Children resent having to obey their parents,...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KORACH

In one of his more surprising and controversial statements, Maimonides posits that our great teacher and leader Moshe was subject to becoming angry at certain occasions during his 40-year leadership of the Jewish people. Being a leader, constantly in the public eye and subject to the human inclination to criticize leadership, no matter how able and enlightened it truly is, certainly can bring one...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TRAVEL INSURANCE

I am planning to travel this summer for 10 days to Russia on a tour sponsored by my Destiny Foundation. Long experience in traveling has taught me to always purchase adequate travel insurance before embarking on such a trip. We are prone to all sorts of mishaps that are completely unforeseen in regular daily life, in our homes and on the street. Traveling and being in a foreign country only...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

LOST LUGGAGE

There are many discomforting and even unpleasant experiences that await those of us who travel by airplane in our current world. Air travel was once considered a luxury experience, apart from one’s final destination. Well, the combination of terrorism, enhanced security measures, crowded planes, narrow seats, somewhat surly service and other sundry annoyances have turned air travel into a chore...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHLACH

In our current democratically oriented mindset we subscribe to the tenent that majority rules. Because of this mentality, many times the opinion of the minority is never taken seriously or properly assessed. Yet, throughout world and Jewish history apparently the majority opinion was not always the correct one, and harmful consequences followed from its adoption The Talmud therefore is always...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B'HALOTCHA

Human beings are by their very nature creatures who are eternally dissatisfied and fearful. It is a rare person that, even at a joyous family occasion, can grasp the moment and fully enjoy it. Even as the bridal couple stands under their marriage canopy, observers and the families of those concerned are already fretting about what the future will hold for the young couple. Rarely can a person...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

HOT SUMMERS

As all of us here in Israel can attest to, the intense heat of the past weeks has clearly announced to us that summer has arrived. The Mediterranean type of climate that Israel enjoys is balanced by its proximity to the desert areas that make up a large part of the landmass of the Middle East. We here in Jerusalem are spared the intense humidity and discomfort that visits the coastal areas of...

Posted in:
Jewish Thought
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

GRATITUDE

As I have often pointed out in these columns, Judaism is to be seen not only as a system of laws and commandments but, even more importantly, as a system of values and overriding attitudes. It really is the value system of Judaism that determines the application of the laws and commandments of the Torah. Without a true understanding of the underlying values and attitudes of the holy and eternal...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

NASSO

The almost endless repetition of the gifts of the elders of the tribes of Israel, at the time of the dedication of the Tabernacle in the desert, has presented a problem to all the commentators to the Torah over the ages. Why does the Torah, that is often so sparing with words even when discussing important and eternal commandments and issues, allow itself to be so expansive and repetitive in this...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BAMIDBAR

I realize that I am making a very bad pun, but I must state that numbers really do count. The Torah takes us through the counting of the Jewish people many times and in detail. Though it may be difficult for us to understand why this should be so, the basic lesson that it teaches us is an important one for national survival. Simply put, we are being instructed that for Judaism and Jewishness to...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein