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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

RABBINIC RESPONSIBILITY

Monday, July 18, 2016

Since the myth of rabbinic infallibility has become entrenched, exaggerated and untrue as it may be, it has unwittingly caused many other dire consequences. Since rabbis are somehow not able to discern the future and to be aware of the true motives and behavior patterns of those congregants and strangers who avail themselves of rabbinic services, rabbis are held accountable for the behavior of those people in their future lives decades later. I remember that as a young rabbi I prided myself on the fact that for about the first twenty years of my rabbinic career no couple for whom I had performed a marriage ceremony divorced. I began to believe that I had some sort of heavenly magical...

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PINCHAS

Monday, July 18, 2016

The count of the Jewish people that appears in this week's Torah reading occurs after a long string of unpleasant incidents and tragedies in this final period of their sojourn in the Sinai desert. The simple understanding of this sequence of events and subsequent count of the people is that after so many had died in the desert; Moshe had to have an accurate number of the Jewish people before their entry into the Land of Israel. But on deeper reflection, it is possible to see a more subtle message that is very relevant to our times and circumstances. It is easy, almost understandable, for people – nations and individuals – to lose heart after a series of reverses and tragedies...

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