Thursday, September 16th 2021   |

Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: RE’ EH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

The old and crumbling building housed a synagogue that was a “gift” from Joseph Stalin to the Jews of Odessa. Historically, Odessa was a metropolis with a large Jewish population and many dozens of synagogues of all types. With the advent of the communist regime, and especially under Stalin’s heavy fisted rule, almost all of those synagogues were...

Person in the Parsha: EIKEV

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREG

DISCIPLINE AND SUFFERING

As a parent, grandparent, and psychologist, I am often considered to be something of an expert on parenting and child-rearing. In that capacity, I have frequently been asked to review or give an opinion about any of the plethora of books on the subject of raising one’s children.

Like in any genre, there are better books and worse books in...

Person in the Parsha: VA’ETCHANA (Shabbat Nachamu)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

ANSWERING UNANSWERED PRAYERS

Did you ever really pray for something you wanted? I mean, really fervently, desperately, pray hard for something that was vitally important to you?

If you did, and I think we all pray this way at moments of urgency, you violated an anonymous piece of wisdom:

“Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it.”

...

Person in the Parsha: DEVARIM (Shabbat Chazon)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE JEWISH OBSESSION

The popular media often accuses the Jewish people of an obsession. Some accuse us good-humoredly of an obsession with food. Others maliciously accuse us of being obsessed with money. I agree that there is a Jewish obsession. I maintain that it is justice with which we are obsessed.

I define an obsession as an idea which dominates our...

Person in the Parsha: BEHAR

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

ANNIVERSARY, BIRTHDAY, JUBILEE!

My father, may he rest in peace, worked for many years in the garment industry. He worked hard, and there were times when he was without a job. I remember how happy we were as children when he found secure employment in a company which manufactured ladies’ apparel, known as “Jubilee Blouse Company”.

I was very young at the time,...

Parsha Maasai: The secret to happiness

By DAVID MOELLER

This week’s Torah portion opens with “These are the journeys of the Children of Israel” and proceeds to enumerate every travel station, however long or short the stay there, from the time the Jews left Egypt until their current position – at the threshold of entering the Promised Land, the land of Israel. The Sages tell us that the Torah is not a ‘story book’ and that...

Person in Parsha: MASEI

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

ZIONISM

There must be at least a thousand jokes that begin, “A Catholic priest, an Orthodox rabbi, and a Protestant minister enter a bar….” I’ll begin this week’s column with a story about a Catholic priest, an Orthodox rabbi, and a fine Jewish layman. They won’t be entering a bar together, that’s for sure. They won’t even be sitting face-to-face. But they will...

Parsha Matos: Caution of loshon hora

By DAVID MOELLER

This week’s Torah portion Matos begins with a lengthy discourse on the laws of promises, oaths and verbal commitments. The laws are somewhat complicated, and the Torah goes to great lengths to elucidate them all.

Why so, when for other mitzvahs it mentions relatively few details, and the rest is learned through the Oral Law? For example, the laws of Shabbos are not elaborated upon in the...

Person in the Parsha: MATOT

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

HONESTY AND INTEGRITY

Every so often, I come across a sentence of another person’s writing which expresses one of my own thoughts in a language far superior to my own. Over the years, I have contemplated and written about the concepts of “honesty” and “integrity” and the difference between the two.

But never was I able to articulate their precise definitions...

Person in the Parsha: PINCHAS

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

TOLERANCE FOR INDIVIDUALITY

Every parent knows this fact, and every teacher can confirm it. No two children are alike. Every mother of more than one child knows that all children are already different in the womb. Every experienced teacher knows that no two pupils learn in the exact same manner.

Indeed, it is the recognition of individual differences and knowledge...