Thursday, September 16th 2021   |

Commentaries

Person in the Parsha: BALAK

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

WHO WAS YOUR TEACHER?

Except for the saints among us, we all boast. Sometimes we boast about our own natural endowments, our good looks, or our athletic prowess. Often we boast about our achievements, social or professional.

There is one type of boasting that seems to be unique to the traditional Jewish community. That is a boasting not about oneself, but rather about...

Person in the Parsha: CHUKAT (Rosh Chodesh Tammuz)

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

LET ME REPEAT

The poem had a place of prominence on our kitchen bulletin board for many years. We had clipped it from a women’s magazine, and although it was too sugary and sentimental for my personal literary taste, it was very encouraging to my wife and me as we raised our teenage daughters. The poem was written by an early middle-aged mother...

Person in the Parsha: KORACH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

TWO JEWS, THREE OPINIONS

We all nod our heads in agreement when we hear the phrase, “Two Jews, three opinions.” We similarly chuckle when we hear the anecdote about the Jew who was discovered after years of living alone on a desert island. His rescuers noticed that he had built two huts aside from the one he lived in. He told...

Person in the Parsha: SHELACH

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

MEMORY LOSS

When one reaches a certain age, he does not have to be reminded that his memory is not what it used to be. These days, one receives e-mails, unsolicited of course, with such titles as “Eight Tips for Improving Memory,” and “Preventing Memory Loss in the Aging Person”. Undoubtedly, one of the consequences of the passage of the years is the...

Person in the Parsha: BEHA’ALOTECHA

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

HUMBLE, NOT MEEK

I don’t usually disagree publicly with lecturers, particularly when they are expressing opinions which are mostly consistent with my own. But there was one time when I felt that I had to speak up and object to one of the speaker’s expressions.

It was at a lecture on the subject of self-absorption. The speaker characterized the time we live in...

Person in the Parsha: NASO

 

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT

The term is one that I first heard back in high school. There are times that I find it helpful, and there are times I find myself resistant to using it. The term is “Judeo-Christian.”

I understand that this term was first used back in the early-19th century to refer to the fact that the...

Person in the Parsha: BAMIDBAR

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

MY TEACHER, MY FATHER

It was November, 1938. Dark clouds were gathering over all of Europe, and particularly over the Jewish communities in countries like Poland and Lithuania. Although few foresaw the horrific extent of the Holocaust that lay ahead, everyone knew that those communities were in very grave danger.

One man, a teacher and leader of those communities, found himself in the...

Person in the Parsha: BECHUKOTAI

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE WALKING TOUR

I am the type of person who has always believed that the only way to learn about something important is to buy a book about it. For example, it has been my good fortune to have traveled widely in my life and to have visited many interesting cities. Invariably, I bought guidebooks before each such visit, with detailed itineraries describing...

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,...

Person in the Parsha: EMOR

By RABBI TZVI HERSH WEINREB

THE UNBURIED CORPSE

Dead. Unburied. Abandoned. Forgotten. What can be a worse fate?

I recently finished a very moving novel about the events immediately preceding World War I and the fate of those who were caught up in the chaos of the opening days of that war. The author of the book, a Jew, was Joseph Roth, and the name of the book...