Friday, September 24th 2021   |

Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: MISHPATIM (Shabbat Shekalim)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

RESPONSIBILITY

I have to thank my dear parents, may they rest in peace, for many things. I must especially thank them for having chosen to provide me with a yeshiva day school education.

This was not an obvious choice back in the 1940’s, for few parents chose the day school option. Indeed, many of their friends advised...

Person in the Parsha: YITRO

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE MATERNAL INFLUENCE

When I was young I was an avid reader of novels. As I’ve grown older, I have found myself more interested in good biographies. I especially appreciate those biographies of great men that try to focus on what exactly made them great. Particularly, I try to discover the roles played by father and mother in the formation of these...

Person in the Parsha: BESCHALACH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

DON’T FORGET THE TAMBOURINES

It is a familiar domestic scene, one that we have all experienced. The family is about to leave on a well-deserved long vacation. All the suitcases are packed and ready to go. Then, someone, usually the mother, shouts out: “Did we all remember everything? Once we get started, we’re not turning back!”

Then the cross questioning begins: “Sally, did...

Person in the Parsha: BO

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

TELL ME A STORY

Since back in early autumn, when we began reading the Book of Genesis in the synagogue, we have been reading one long story. It has been a very dramatic story, extending over many centuries. It began with the creation of man, and proceeded with the narrative of the transformation of a small family into a...

Person in the Parsha: VAERA

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

HOPELESS

I remember the conversation very well. It was a discussion among a group of assorted friends, from a variety of backgrounds. One or two were true scholars. The others were not scholars by any stretch of the imagination but were familiar with those Jewish texts frequently read in the synagogue.

The discussion revolved around the question, “What is the saddest verse in...

Person in the Parsha: SHEMOT

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“SLEEPLESS NIGHTS”

Can you sleep at night? There is so much trouble in the world. Violence, wars large and small, natural disasters, disease. We all personally know many who are suffering at this very moment. Some are friends and acquaintances living in plain sight. Others are individuals in the media, people whose pain we see portrayed daily on the evening news.

...

Person in the Parsha: VAYECHI

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

CHANGING THE WORLD

I’ve always been impressed by something my grandfather told me many years ago. I believe he quoted the following in the name of Rabbi Israel Salanter, the 19th century founder of the Mussar Movement which advocated the perfection of our ethical behavior:

  “When you’re young, you think you can change the world.    As you...

Person in the Parsha: VAYIGASH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

RECONCILIATION

I have known more than my share of families that are torn by discord. I think most of us, perhaps even all of us, are familiar with families in which brothers and sisters have not spoken to each other in years, sometimes even having forgotten the original reason for the destruction of their relationship. My background and experience in the...

Person in the Parsha: MIKETZ (Shabbat Chanukah)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

“…BUT BY MY SPIRIT…“

It is a common scene in the United States at this time of year. The shopping malls, television commercials, and all public venues are transformed visually. As December 25 approaches, we see the evidence that we do indeed live in a predominantly Christian country. Images of Santa Claus and his reindeers, evergreen trees with dazzling decorations, crucifixes illuminated by...

Person in the Parsha: VAYASHEV

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THINKING AND DREAMING

When I recall the great teachers I was blessed with over the course of my lifetime, I realize that one thing comes to mind: they were a diverse group. This eclectic group included the gentle man who introduced me to the study of Chumash, Bible, when I was in fourth grade; the seventh-grade teacher who inspired me to read great...