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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

POST-PURIM HANGOVER 3/28/2016 01:58 PM

Now that the holiday of Purim is safely behind us, many find themselves suffering from a state we call the hangover. There are those who are suffering from this hangover in a literal sense – too much drink, too much food…just too much. Well, a long nap and an analgesic to soothe the stomach and a cold compress for the headache will eventually provide relief for this type of post-Purim...

TOO MUCH, TOO FAST 2/28/2016 02:13 PM

Profligate behavior has always been a byproduct of great personal wealth, especially great wealth acquired relatively quickly. One of the great psychological rules of a great supply of money is that it searches for an outlet. Money burns a hole in one’s pocket. And thus many times, spending becomes foolish, ostentatious, unnecessary and sometimes even self-destructive. And in our instant...

JUSTICE SCALIA 2/21/2016 02:49 PM

Justice Antonin Scalia passed away last week. He served as an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court for the past thirty years. He was a brilliant jurist, an acerbic wit, a kind gentleman and a devout Roman Catholic. He was a strict constructionist of the American constitution, often stating that the simple language of the constitution should not be reinterpreted and twisted in...

TERUMAH 2/8/2016 01:49 PM

There is traditional opinion in the works of the commentators to Torah that the construction of the Mishkan/Tabernacle was a form of atonement for the sin of the Jewish people in erecting and worshipping the Golden Calf. So to speak, gold atones for gold. Gold well spent on holiness and goodness atones for gold badly misspent on idolatry and wanton behavior. This idea is very much in line...

THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE 2/7/2016 04:02 PM

Recently, the Secretary General of the United Nations commented, at last, on all of the terrorism against Israeli citizens perpetrated by many Palestinians. In essence, he said that the Israelis had it coming to them since they have been unable to satisfy all of the outrageous demands of the Palestinians that would automatically bring peace and light to our troubled land. Both the Prime...

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...