Parshas Bo

Rabbi Berel Wein As the drama of the Exodus from Egypt draws nearer its climax in this week’s Torah reading, one cannot help but be struck by the stubbornness of Pharaoh in the face of all of the plagues visited upon him and his nation. His advisers had long before told him that all was […]

Parshas Va’eira

Rabbi Berel Wein As the narrative of the redemption of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage unfolds, I am continually struck by the apparently gradual process that is described for us in the Torah. What does all of the detail associated with each of the plagues visited upon Egypt come to teach us? And would […]

Escaping Reality

Rabbi Zvi Teichman At the end of the first assault against Pharaoh and the Egyptian nation, with the plague of Blood, despite the distress, stench and discomfort foisted on his people, Pharaoh can simply shrug it all off. Pharaoh turned away and came to his palace. He did not take this to heart either. (שמות […]

Parshas Shemos

Rabbi Berel Wein 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 […]

Ani Yehudi!

Rabbi Zvi Teichman Whether it be Jew, Jude, Zhid, Juif, Yahud or Yid, all these terms of ‘endearment’ stem and evolved from that proud appellation, Yehudi. The blessing of Yaakov to Yehuda begins, יהודה אתה — Yehuda – you, יודוך אחיך  — your brothers shall acknowledge, ידך —  your hand will be at your enemies’ […]

Parshas Vayechi

Rabbi Berel Wein The traditional rabbinic approach as to why this portion of the Torah is the titled “vayechi Yaakov” even though the subject matter of this Torah portion concerns itself with the death of Yaakov is that as long as his descendants – the Jewish people – are alive and functioning, then Yaakov is […]

Parshas Vayigash

Rabbi Berel Wein The statement of our father Jacob to the Pharaoh of Egypt that “my years of life have been few and most unpleasant” is most perplexing. We all know the well-known anecdote that one of the most disappointing things in life is to ask someone how he or she is and they actually […]

For Love Is as Fierce as Death

Rabbi Zvi Teichman Praiseworthy is the man who has made Hashem his trust, and not turned to the arrogant and to strayers after falsehood. (תהלים מ ה) The Midrash states that the first half of this verse refers to none other than Yosef, who placed absolute faith in G-d. Yet, the Midrash also says that […]

Parshas Mikeitz

Rabbi Berel Wein The entire narrative of the story of Joseph and his brothers, as he sent off the Jewish people to Egyptian society, slavery and ultimate redemption, is meant to illustrate to us the guiding hand of Providence in human affairs. There is no question that all of the participants in this dramatic narrative […]

Parshas Vayeishev

Rabbi Berel Wein Modern writers and commentators have found the biblical narratives of the book of Bereshis irresistible in their penchant for psychoanalyzing people described in terms of modern understanding and current correctness. In so doing, they do a great disservice to Jewish tradition and present a distorted picture of the message that the Torah […]