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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

KORACH

There are always differences within a team regarding the role and efficacy of leadership and leaders. All leaders are subject to criticism and second guessing. It comes with the job and there is no escaping it. Nevertheless, when the criticism descends to the level of personal abuse, and when it is obviously motivated by jealousy and other susceptible causes, then the criticism crosses the line...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

The Eternal Question

As the corona pandemic hopefully wanes, and as we attempt to return to some sort of normalcy and emerge from our isolation, I have reflected on the fact that there is an enormous theological question raised by the events of the past few months. This theological question has always existed and has always been discussed in Jewish life and by Jewish scholars. But this question has never been...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Shlach 5780

The Land of Israel has always been a challenge to the People of Israel. There are many reasons for this, both obvious and subtle. The Land of Israel plays a central role in Judaism, in Jewish life, within its laws and world view. Yet, for a great part of Jewish history, the Jewish People itself was absent from the Land of Israel. Because of this absence, the Land of Israel was not a reality in...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

Commentary on Zoom

I have been conducting classes and lectures on Zoom for about three months now. I admit that Zoom is a great creation and that it enabled many of us to remain connected one to another, and to be able to study together. However, as with all good things in life, like chocolate and ice cream, they have their limitations and perhaps should only be done in moderation. I find it quite difficult to...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert

Beha'alotcha

In this week’s Torah reading we hear an oft repeated refrain uttered by many in the generation that found itself in the desert of Sinai. They said that we want to return to Egypt. The present is too difficult, and the future is too uncertain so let us go home to Egypt which we were familiar with and where we knew what to expect. All human beings fear uncertainty. The future is always...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Sights and Sounds

Being cooped up in the houses of my children, in Woodmere and Monsey, over the past two months has left me with an ambivalent feeling regarding the experience. On one hand, my family bonds have been strengthened by the fact that I have spent more time with my children in person and with my grandchildren via the miracle of Zoom, than I ever imagined I would still be able to do. But, on the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

NASO

When the Torah describes the count of the tribe of Levi, at the onset of this week’s reading, it uses the expression “raise the head of the tribe of Levi.” At first glance this is a strange way of to present the matter. The Torah should say directly, “count the tribe of Levi.” By using the expression “raise the head” the Torah communicates to us a subtle but vital lesson. And that...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Bamidbar

This section of the Torah is entitled, Bamidbar, in the desert. It is hard for us to imagine, though it may be less hard in our current situation than it was before we were put into quarantine, how the Jewish people lived in the desert for four decades. Since they had no gainful occupations and they had no struggle to feed themselves for the miraculous bread from heaven fell and the well of...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Shavuos – The Book of Ruth

Every biblical narrative has at its heart a main character, a hero or heroine. Even though the book and the scroll of Ruth is named for her, the true main character and heroine of the story is Naomi. This is confirmed in the book itself when the prophet Samuel, the author of the book, relates that when Ruth gave birth to Oved, the women of Bethlehem declared; “A male child has been born to...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Long Lost Relatives

Because of the increased use of Zoom over the past months, people have been listening to my lectures who otherwise would have been deprived of that great benefit since they do not live in the Rechavia section of Jerusalem. Because of this, as well, I have discovered relatives that I never knew existed and with whom I have had no connection. The discovery of long-lost relatives always comes...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert