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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

POLITICS AS RELIGION

Sunday, June 25, 2017

One of the interesting societal phenomena of our time, both in Jewish and general society, is the elevation of political beliefs and ideas to the level of faith and religion itself. For most of American Jewry, values of the progressive Left have become an ersatz Judaism, treasured and followed and reflected in the pronouncements and stance of much of what passes today as Reform and Conservative mainstream Jewish thought. All sorts of social issues that are not likely to aid in the survival of the Jewish population as Jews, have become the new rituals in these circles. Political issues such as healthcare, economic growth, gender equality and the like dominate the Jewish discussion....

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CHUKAT

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The unraveling of the destiny of the generation of Jews that left Egypt reaches its climax in the Torah reading of this week. All of the leaders of the people will not bring them to the promised land of Israel. This is true not only of the leaders of the individual tribes in the desert but even Moshe and Aharon are doomed not to witness the conquest and settlement of the Land of Israel. The will of Heaven in this area, as in almost all other areas of life and history, remains inscrutable to us ordinary humans. We do not comprehend the punishment of Moshe and its apparent severity. Commentators to the Torah have labored along and hard over the centuries to attempt to explain this mystery...

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