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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

TERUMAH

Monday, February 8, 2016

There is traditional opinion in the works of the commentators to Torah that the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle was a form of atonement for the sin of the Jewish people in erecting and worshipping the Golden Calf. So to speak, gold atones for gold. Gold well spent on holiness and goodness atones for gold badly misspent on idolatry and wanton behavior. This idea is very much in line with the Jewish concept of repentance, which sees the penitent being in the same position and circumstances as when he originally sinned but no longer behaving sinfully in those circumstances. It is truly wise to avoid temptation but it is heroic and noble to overcome it. The Mishkan/Tabernacle...

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THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Recently, the Secretary General of the United Nations commented, at last, on all of the terrorism against Israeli citizens perpetrated by many Palestinians. In essence, he said that the Israelis had it coming to them since they have been unable to satisfy all of the outrageous demands of the Palestinians that would automatically bring peace and light to our troubled land. Both the Prime Minister of Israel and its ambassador to the UN criticized him bitterly for his words and lack of a balanced assessment of the realities of the situation. Stung by the temerity to criticize him, the Secretary General responded with an op-ed piece in the New York Times (where else would it be treated with...

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