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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

YITRO 5781

One of the basic lessons learned from this week's Torah reading, though barely discussed by the commentators, is that there is no perfect system of justice if it involves human beings and judges. After the granting of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, our teacher Moshe allows himself to become the sole judge regarding disputes that arise in the camp of the Israelites. He is besieged...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE ANTI-HERO

Four years ago, when Donald Trump was unexpectedly elected and became the President of the United States, I wrote a column for my monthly newsletter, the Wein Press, about that event. I have never claimed the ability to predict events, or to be prophetic about the faith of people or even nations. However, the rabbis in the Talmud have taught us that though prophecy was removed from humans, a...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BESHALACH

This week we read in the Torah the final chapter of the liberation of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage and slavery. After centuries of servitude, the children of Jacob are finally freed from their Egyptian taskmasters and embark on their journey of building a civilization. Yet, the Torah goes to great lengths to point out to us that freedom as a concept cannot exist in a vacuum. The...

Posted in:
Sabbath/ Holidays
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

AN ADDICTION CURED

For the first few decades of my sojourn here in Jerusalem, I was absolutely addicted to hearing the news seven or eight times a day. Since this included the time of the two intifadas, the two Gaza wars, numerous Israeli elections, American political upheavals, and other assorted interesting events, I did not feel that I was necessarily overdoing it. During the rest of the day. I often wondered...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

Bo

Since every word of our holy Torah carries with it many layers of significance and importance, it is incumbent upon us to understand why this particular word, Bo, is employed by the Torah to describe a certain situation. In the opinion of the commentators to the Torah, the word Bo, which appears at the beginning of this week's reading, contains a deeper meaning than the simple translation...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAEIRA 5781

The Mishne in Avot questions why the world was created, so to speak, by ten statements and utterances from Heaven. It explains that this shows the importance of life on this planet, and of the infinite universe itself, that it was lovingly created, when one statement alone would have been sufficient. The repetition of the statements of creation were a sign of affection between the Creator and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

MY BOOK LIBRARY

An acquaintance of mine delivered a package to me in my apartment. He noticed that the apartment is full bookcases in almost every room. He knows that my eyesight no longer allows me to read or study from books, so he asked me why I have not yet begun to dispose of my library, since it is of little practical value to me now. I thanked him for his comments and suggestion, but I was not really...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

TAKING A SHOT

There is no doubt that in certain matters and issues the state of Israel is really on the cutting edge of progress and achievement. Our health system here in Israel is burdened by a great deal of bureaucracy, but when the health system and the government agree that it should work quickly and efficiently on behalf of those who are in need, it does so. When the government announced that the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHEMOT

It is difficult to imagine a more unlikely scenario than the one described for us in the Torah as to the process of redemption of the Jewish people from Egyptian slavery. We can readily understand a personality of holiness and tranquility such as Aaron becoming the hero and redeemer of the holy people of Israel. We could also easily understand that the redemption could come from negotiations and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Faigie Gilbert

VAYECHI

At the end of the book of Bereshith, as we read in this week's Torah reading, there is little warning as to what the very next Torah reading will discuss and describe. The transition, from the benign and idyllic last years of the life of our father Jacob, is a harsh reality of servitude and slavery visited upon his descendants. From the biblical narrative, it appears to have been sudden and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein