Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

בשלח

שירת הגאולה שירת הים הגדולה של משה ובני ישראל היא החלק המרכזי בפרשת השבוע. השירה הזאת איננה אירוע חד-פעמי בהיסטוריה. היא נשארה חלק מתפילת השחרית של היהודים בבתי הכנסת אלפי שנים. שירת הים עוסקת בכוחו של הקב"ה, בקיום...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

B’SHALACH

The great song of Moshe and of Israel forms the centerpiece of this week’s parsha. The song was not a one-off historical event. It has remained a part of the morning services of the synagogue prayers of Jews for millennia. The song concentrates on God’s power, on Israel’s always miraculous survival and on the perfidious behavior of the wicked enemies of the Jewish people. God’s...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

RIGHTEOUS WOMEN

One of the well known statements of Midrash about the Exodus of Israel from Egyptian bondage is that the Jewish people, our ancestors, were redeemed from Egypt in the merit of the righteous Jewish women of the time. We tend to judge Jewish righteousness purely in terms of tradition, ritual and observance and though that is certainly true it is not the entire truth. Jewish women, then and...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

BO

People who are released from bondage or any other type of incarceration usually find their adjustment to freedom difficult if not even very problematic. More often than not the look on their newly freed faces is one of bewilderment – of being in a dazed condition – rather than one of pure joy. Past unpleasant and painful experiences are not easily forgotten, or sublimated and...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

THE EXODUS AND US

The sections of the Torah that we are reading these weeks concern themselves with the well known but ever insightful story of the enslavement and subsequent exodus of the Jewish people in long ago Egypt. Jewish tradition has taught us that the narratives that appear in the Torah are not to be viewed as merely a recital of past events. Rather they stand as indicators and guideposts for the...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

VAEIRA

Moshe faces a crisis of faith at the onset of this week’s parsha. He apparently has made no headway with and little impression on the Pharaoh of Egypt. The situation of the Jewish slaves has worsened considerably and the leaders of the people place blame upon Moshe for that situation. So, Moshe is apparently unsuccessful with the Pharaoh and unsuccessful with the Jewish people all at...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

רגישות

יש ביהדות ובהלכה היהודית ערך שדורש מכל יהודי להפגין רגישות כלפי רגשות הזולת. הערך הזה לא מוגדר במונחים הלכתיים כמו אתרוג, למשל, או סוכה. הוא קיים בצורה הרבה יותר אמורפית, בתחום שנועד להיות תרבותי, כמעט, מובן מאליו....

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SENSITIVITY

There is a value in Jewish life and law that encompasses the necessity of exhibiting sensitivity towards the feelings of others. This value is not rigidly defined in halachic terms as let us say an etrog or a succah is. It exists in a far more amorphous realm, one that is almost meant to be cultural and self understood. Because it is not rigorously defined there are really no textbooks...

Posted in:
In My Opinion
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

שמות

ביסודו של דבר, התורה לא מכינה אותנו לתיאור האירועים שמסופרים לנו בפרשת השבוע. כשעזבנו את משפחת יעקב בסוף פרשת השבוע שעבר, ויחי, בני ישראל התיישבו בארץ גושן וחיו בה מוגנים, בנוחות ובשפע. התורה לא מתארת לנו את התהליך שבו...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein

SHEMOT

The Torah leaves us basically unprepared for its description of the events that are recorded for us in this week’s parsha. When we last left the family of Israel at the conclusion of last week’s parsha of Vayechi, the Jews found themselves comfortable, affluent, protected and settled well in the land of Goshen. The Torah does not describe to us the process by which this situation so...

Posted in:
Weekly Parsha
by
Rabbi Berel Wein