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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

WINTER BLUES 2/1/2016 12:15 PM

Having lived in Israel for the past nineteen years, memories of winter in Monsey, New York have faded from my memory. That is not all that has faded from my memory but that is a different matter for a different discussion. Finding myself in Monsey at this time of the year, I have been experiencing weather that has been cold and very snowy. It is mid-winter here in the northeastern part of the...

RIVALRIES 1/24/2016 10:31 AM

Being raised as an only child in my parents’ home I was spared the experiences and challenges of sibling rivalries. Not having anyone to compete with I was blissfully unaware that there were others who felt that they were also entitled to parental love, weekly allowances and unlimited bathroom privileges. No one ever dared to wear my clothing, play with my toys or read my books without my...

HATERS AND PROBLEMS 12/28/2015 01:43 PM

Hate is a very powerful emotion. It generates skewed vision, violent behavior, and in historical terms, national and personal disasters. There are many causes for hatred. Jealousy, indoctrination, feelings of revenge and suspicions (many times completely unfounded)are just a few. But the most lethal forms of hatred that usually unleash killing and mayhem are those that are religiously or...

ON BEING CURRENTLY RELEVANT 12/21/2015 04:40 PM

The “hot-button” topics in our ever-changing society rarely have much staying power. They seem somehow to fizzle out of their own accord, having made a lot of noise, spawning countless op-ed pontifications but rarely leading to substantive change or benefit in our lives and societies. The main issue facing world Jewry is its shrinking population due to the ravages of assimilation and...

KEEPING OUR DISTANCE 12/14/2015 03:06 PM

It seems fairly obvious to me that American Jewry should stay out of Israeli politics and that Israeli politicians should stay out of the affairs of American Jewry. However, our politicians somehow feel impelled to visit America as often as they can and to act or pontificate on all sorts of matters over which they have little knowledge or deep understanding. We should agree in advance that...

FASCINATIONS 11/30/2015 04:01 PM

Parts of the Moslem world are currently experiencing a morbid fascination with death – their own and that of others. There is no long-term strategy to the terror that grips Western society and all of us here in the State of Israel. Stabbing a soldier or running down a policeman or pedestrian with an automobile has no strategic value and, in reality, accomplishes nothing for the cause of the...

HOORAY FOR THE MURDERERS 11/23/2015 02:10 PM

The trend over the past century and especially in our current twisted times has been to try to discover the motives that drive people to kill other people. The victims being killed are many times unknown to their killers and are personally innocent of any guilt in their death. Their fault lay in being of a certain race, nationality, religious belief and even simply (and unfortunately) being in...

DISAPPOINTMENTS 11/9/2015 01:38 PM

Disappoints are almost always based on the failure of people, technological gadgets or public policies to live up to expectations. Therefore, the higher the expectations are, the greater the disappointments. Because we invest so much confidence and hope in our political leaders, we are invariably doomed to disappointment and frustration when they turn out to be merely fallible human beings. ...

WHO KNOWS TWELVE? 11/2/2015 01:14 PM

In the interests if transparency and honesty, let me state at the outset here that this brilliant essay is completely self-serving and personally motivated. But nevertheless it does, in my opinion, contain ideas and insights that may prove worthwhile to my long-suffering loyal readers. The name of my newly published book is “Who Knows Twelve – Insights and Values From the Book of Trei-Asar...

THE SAME OLD SCRIPT 10/26/2015 02:00 PM

For about the last century, the Arabs have played out the same script over and over again in their attempt to destroy Jewish control over the Land of Israel. And that script is basically to inspire their religiously fanatical followers to riot and kill Jews randomly with no strategic or tactical benefit to their cause. The rallying cry has always been that somehow the Jews intend to physically...