Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

HAAZINU

The special nature and all of the events of Jewish history are outlined for us in this week’s parsha. Ramban in the 13th century comments that anyone who can, so many centuries earlier, accurately foretell the later fate of a people is an exceptional prophet. Moshe certainly fits that description and test. And what more can we add to this phenomenon, now seven hundred-fifty years after...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYELECH/SHUVA

The parsha of Vayelech is the parsha that contains the smallest number of verses – only thirty – of any other parsha in the Torah. It also is the parsha that usually coincides with Shabat Shuva, the holy Shabat between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The words of the parsha are part of the last testament of Moshe uttered on the day of his passing from this earth. As is his want, Moshe...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NITZAVIM

In emphasizing once again the eternal validity of God’s covenant with the Jewish people, Moshe addresses his words to the entire nation. All classes of society are included in the covenant – the heads of the people, the judges, the wealthy and powerful, the poor, menial and manual laborers, and those that chop the wood and draw the water. No one is excluded from the terms of the covenant and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TAVO

One of the bitterest curses that the Torah describes in the tochacha, which forms a major portion of this parsha, is that all our efforts will be for naught, all our ambitions, ideas and struggles ultimately pointless and of no lasting value, unless we build strong family ties and encourage harmony. There are relatively few ways that we can make our mark on the world and our lives, unless we are...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

KI TEITZEI

This week’s Torah reading begins with all the ills that can befall a domestic society. These include lust and exploitation of other human beings, especially women by men in a dominant male society; unhappy marriages, dysfunctional families and disputes over inheritances that wreck family life. Seriously troubled, rebellious, and violent children that defy all authority, especially parental...

Posted in:
Sabbath/ Holidays
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHOFTIM

Following the decisions of the court and judges of one’s time, even if one personally disagrees with those judicial conclusions, is the subject of this week’s parsha. This leads to a later concept in halacha of a zakein mamreh – a leading scholar, a member of the Sanhedrin itself, who refuses to accept or abide by the majority position and opinion of his colleagues. There is a...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RE’AH 5782

There is a shift in mood in the book of Dvarim beginning with this week’s parsha. It no longer is a review of the events of the desert or of the Exodus from Egypt. Moshe no longer will concentrate on the faults and failures of the generation that left Egypt – a generation that saw their high hopes dashed by their stubbornness and a lack of faith. The past is the past and it cannot be...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

EKEV 5782

Moshe’s discourse to the children of Israel at the end of his life continues in this week’s parsha. I think that it has to be said that Moshe presents a “fair and balanced” review of the events that have befallen Israel during its desert sojourn. The good and the bad, the exalted and the petty are all recorded for us in his words. And his view of the future of his beloved people is also a...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAETCHANAN

This week’s parsha begins the seven-week period of consolation and condolence that bridges the time space between Tisha b’Av and Rosh Hashana. In order to properly prepare for the oncoming year and its challenges one must first be comforted by the vision of better times ahead and the belief in one’s ability to somehow overcome those omnipresent challenges. Healing occurs when one believes...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

DEVARIM 5782

This week's Torah reading begins the oration by our teacher Moshe during the final months of his life. In this oration, he reviews the 40 years sojourn of the Jewish people in the Sinai desert, and prophesies regarding their future, first in the Land of Israel. and then throughout succeeding history. The Torah tells us that Moshe began his speech when the Jewish people were located between...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein