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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

THE RESIDUE OF THE GREAT WAR

Monday, October 20, 2014

What is Europe’s problem and hang up with the State of Israel? Why is it so focused on this Middle Eastern conflict, almost to the exclusion of other seemingly greater issues closer to home? Anti-Semitism certainly plays a role in this European fixation regarding Israel but I do not believe that it is the sole, and perhaps not even the main catalyst driving European policies, statements and actions. I feel that a great deal of the attention that Israel claims from the European nations is a residue of the revolutionary inconclusiveness of World War I, a century ago. In Europe, World War I is still referred to as The Great War. Even though World War II was ever more brutal and costly...

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NOACH

Monday, October 20, 2014

The main character described in this week's Torah reading is naturally Noach himself. I think that the Torah wishes to illustrate, through Noach’s personality and his reactions to the impending disaster and to the world afterwards - the challenges of being a survivor. Everyone who has ever survived a serious challenge or tragedy replays in one's mind what might have been done differently, and whether the tragedy could somehow have been averted. There is always, as well, that element of guilt which every survivor carries with him or her. Noach had ample warning as to the arrival of the flood – a flood that would destroy civilization as he knew it. There are different opinions...

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