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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

BALAK

Monday, June 29, 2015

This week's parsha introduces us to the usual suspects who are always present and active in Jewish history and world affairs. Balak and Bilaam are prototypes of the enemies of the Jewish people throughout the ages. They really have no legitimate cause to be our enemies. They impute hostile and aggressive behavior to the Jewish people, when in reality none of this is present. They are motivated by jealousy, greed, and a terrible misreading of the situation that leads them to unreasoning hatred and the wish to eliminate the Jewish people completely. It is the existence of the Jewish people that truly troubles them. They resent the fact that the Jewish people left Egypt and were rescued...

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LOSING TEAMS

Sunday, June 28, 2015

I have always felt that part of the attraction of sports, especially professional sports, leagues and teams, is that it somehow represents a metaphor for general life. One of the great ongoing mysteries of sports is the loyalty that losing teams continue to exercise over their fan base year after year and even decade after decade. The Chicago Cubs have not won a championship in major league baseball for over a century. One would think that this would somehow discourage fan loyalty and essentially bring the club into financial bankruptcy. However, the opposite is true. Almost every game that they play is a complete sellout, the team is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and nothing...

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