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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

SHABBAT HAGADOL

The Shabbat that precedes the holiday of Passover has been named by Jewish tradition as Shabbat Hagadol – the great Shabbat. Over the ages there have been numerous explanations and comments as to why this Shabbat is set apart from all others. The view that is recorded in rabbinic literature is that this Shabbat marks the anniversary of the Jewish people’s preparation of the sacrificial lamb...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAZRIA

The opening portion of the Torah reading of this week deals with childbearing. Jewish tradition has to a great extent always been child centered. Bringing children into the world is one of the basic positive commandments of Judaism. Having children demonstrates a belief in the future and an optimistic view of life generally. Everyone knows that raising children constitutes a great...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE PASSING SCENE

I have very wonderful friends who are kind enough to pick me up in their automobiles and drive me to the synagogue during the week. They are very punctual and the time that is set for pick up is almost always exactly observed. Because of this, I go down to the corner of my street and wait there at least 10 minutes before the appointed time because I enjoy the scene which is never the same and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

ELECTIONS

As the election campaign here in Israel finally reaches its conclusion, much debris is scattered in its wake. Individuals have been maligned, their lives and livelihood threatened, and in some cases, even their reputations ruined irreparably. Such is the nature today of elections in our so-called advanced Western society. The United States is still suffering from the fallout of the 2016...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHMINI

We are all aware that personal disappointments and tragedies are unavoidable events in the life span of human beings. No one departs from this world unscathed by difficulties. In the Torah reading of this week we are informed of the death of the two elder sons of Aaron. The Torah ascribes their deaths to the fact that they offered up a strange fire on the altar in the process of burning the holy...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

PURIM ALWAYS

The book of Esther teaches us that “these days of Purim will never depart from the Jewish people and their generations." The part of the message that is being communicated to us here is that the struggle for Jewish survival – physical and otherwise – that is represented by the holiday of Purim, is a never-ending challenge that will not depart from our midst as long as the Jewish people...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TZAV

The daily permanent sacrifice that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and previously in the Tabernacle in the desert was called ‘olah.’ It was an offering that went completely to Heaven, so to speak, and was offered every morning and evening of each day of the year. It differed from other types of sacrifices in that it was consumed completely on the altar and no human being, not the...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAYIKRA

As all of you are aware that the first word in this week's Torah reading is written in a different fashion in the scroll of the Torah itself.Theword ‘vayikra’ is written with a small ‘alef ‘at the end of the word. This has been discussed widely over the ages by the great commentators and thinkers of Israel, who have derived many important lessons from this unusual writing of the word. ...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

OUR MIRACLE MINYAN

It is now close to ten months since our congregation initiated a second morning prayer service to begin at 7:45 AM. The main morning prayer service was and is at 6:45 AM. This early time proved very inconvenient to me and to a few others and hence the synagogue graciously allowed for a second morning prayer service later in the morning to accommodate us. Over the time that this second prayer...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

WEIGHTY MATTERS

Some time ago I was standing in a long line before the check-in counter at an airport in the United States. There was quite a delay in reaching that counter because a young woman was having a great difficulty because her suitcase was overweight. The airlines are very strict in enforcing weight limits on luggage, especially because charging for luggage and overcharging for overweight luggage has...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Faigie Gilbert