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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

HAAZINU

Monday, September 18, 2017

There are two approaches to understanding much of the prophecy contained in the grand poem of Moshe that constitutes this week’s Torah reading. Rashi in fact develops both themes thoroughly in his commentary. One view is that the Jewish people and their future are the subjects of Moshe’s Divine words. The difficulties and challenges raised in the verses of this Torah reading are those that the Jewish nation and society will have to overcome in their historic and unprecedented journey in the story of human civilization. Because of the nature of our existence in the world, the Jews are naturally fixated upon their own story and its events, both past and present. The old maxim...

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ROSH HASHANAH

Monday, September 18, 2017

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of a reflective period in the Jewish calendar year. At one and the same time we look back at the accomplishments and failures of the past year and we also look forward to our lives and hoped for achievements in the coming good year now dawning upon us. The prayers of Rosh Hashanah represent this duality of outlook. They also represent the constants in our lives and souls. The malkhiyot section tells us of God’s ever present rule over his world and its creatures. It is this constant that surpasses time and space, calendars and timepieces. Life is too random and unstructured for human society to begin to understand and to cope with in the absence of...

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