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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

History

THE SUNSHINE PATRIOTS 8/31/2015 12:07 PM

The Jewish communities and individual Jews living in the Diaspora, in the United States and the Western world particularly are currently faced with having to make a difficult and almost fateful decision regarding the signing of an admittedly bad deal with Iran. As t his would pave the way for that nation to become a nuclear power in the very foreseeable future, does continued Jewish opposition...

SHABBAT AND TISHA B’AV 7/20/2015 03:05 PM

It is an established fact that Shabbat trumps almost every other commandment, custom and practice in Jewish life and law. Allowing circumcision on Shabbat is the exception and not the rule. Whether confronting the fast days or feast days, Shabbat takes precedence. It rules, by rabbinic decree, over shofar and lulav as well as over the mournful commemorations of personal and national grief, loss...

GOING SHOPPING 7/5/2015 02:14 PM

Those who know me will testify that I am not a person who enjoys shopping. There are people who simply love to go shopping. In fact there is an entire human activity, bordering on an industry, called ”going shopping.” And there are many practitioners of this activity and I am not merely speaking of window shopping, which is an entirely different genre by itself, but I am talking about real...

LOSING TEAMS 6/28/2015 01:42 PM

I have always felt that part of the attraction of sports, especially professional sports, leagues and teams, is that it somehow represents a metaphor for general life. One of the great ongoing mysteries of sports is the loyalty that losing teams continue to exercise over their fan base year after year and even decade after decade. The Chicago Cubs have not won a championship in major league...

‘FIFE’ ON FIFA 6/1/2015 01:08 PM

Last week there were many dramas that took place regarding the international soccer association known as FIFA. Many of its top officials were arrested and more were indicted in the United States for brazenly corrupt practices. They were charged with accepting millions of dollars in bribes in assigning venues for the World Cup and other major soccer sporting events. The head of the...

I’VE GOT YOUR BACK 5/26/2015 12:18 PM

The president of the United States has recently reassured us and proclaimed that “America has Israel’s back”. Given the recent controversies between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the United States, this message was meant to soothe the relationship between the two countries and to allow for a more positive progression of policies that would be in their mutual interest. ...

GROWING UP 4/26/2015 02:14 PM

All children grow up and hopefully mature into independent, self-sufficient and productive adults. The Torah itself advocates this process when it states that “therefore every man shall leave his father and mother” in order to marry and build one's own home and family. Growing up is often a painful process for both parents and children. I have often advocated the idea that everyone should...

ZEITGEIST 4/26/2015 01:04 PM

There is no way that anyone can completely shut the door of one’s religious Jewish home to exclude the influences of prevailing culture from entering our living quarters and influencing our families. The zeitgeist – the prevailing culture of the time and place -has always been a powerful and sometime detrimental force in Jewish history. It was the existing zeitgeist of rampant and...

פסח 3/30/2015 03:20 PM

מישהו אמר באוזניי לאחרונה שהוא לא מבין או רואה איך אפשר לדבר על משהו חדש בשולחן הסדר בפסח – כל מה שאפשר היה להגיד ולפרש כבר נאמר בכל עשרות השנים שהוא חוגג את חג הפסח. אמרתי לו שאני חושב שההשקפה שלו בנוגע לסדר פסח החג קצת...

PESACH 3/30/2015 01:48 PM

Someone remarked to me recently that he did not see or feel how anything new could be discussed at his Seder table – everything that could have been said and analyzed had been said over all of the past decades of his commemorating Pesach. I told him that I thought he had too narrow a view concerning the commemoration of Pesach. The broad human and particularly Jewish issues of bondage,...