Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Modern history

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,...

ניתוק 3/15/2015 01:54 PM

אחת הבעיות שניצבות בפני ההנהגה הדתית של העולם היהודי, במיוחד ההנהגה של הרבנים הגדולים וראשי מוסדות החינוך הדתיים המובילים בישראל, היא העובדה שיש תהום פעורה של נתק בינם לבין ההמונים שהם מבקשים להנהיג ועליהם הם מבקשים...

IT IS OUR FAULT – REALLY? 2/23/2015 12:56 PM

The Israeli ambassador to Sweden was interviewed this week on a radio station in Stockholm. He was being interviewed in connection with the recent killing of a Jewish security guard outside of the synagogue in Copenhagen. The charming woman interviewer, after the ambassador expressed is horror and disgust over the matter, asked him: “Don’t you think that the Jews also have to shoulder some...

NEVER AGAIN 2/2/2015 01:01 PM

I am well aware that there is no use beating a dead horse and that the subject of the Holocaust is already in the minds of most of the world's population, truly a dead horse. Last week the United Nations and over fifty countries commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the expulsion of the Germans from the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. This commemoration was marked by the usual plethora of...

THE PALESTINIAN REFUGEES 1/12/2015 01:37 PM

One of the tragic consequences of war is that thousands and perhaps even millions of civilians are displaced, uprooted from their homes and lives and have involuntarily acquired the unwanted distinction of becoming refugees. Yet, in most instances regarding refugees after the wars of the twentieth century, these refugees eventually found new homes and new lives – many times better homes and...

UPS AND DOWNS 12/29/2014 11:19 AM

Though every election in Israel is full of surprises, because we are a restless and constantly dissatisfied people there is a pattern that has emerged from all of the previous nineteen elections that have bedeviled us over the past sixty-six years. The pattern includes constant fragmentation of existing parties as personal ambition and rigid ideology overtake practical and achievable goals. ...

EUROPE IS GONE 12/24/2014 11:42 AM

What can one say about Europe? I imagine that if one wants to be bitterly truthful then one could easily say that Hitler has in effect triumphed. He branded the Jews as the root of all troubles and proclaimed that the “final” and only solution to the “Jewish problem” was to eradicate all Jews from the face of the earth. And as we all know, he followed through on his genocidal program. ...

LOOSE CHANGE 12/8/2014 01:13 PM

One of the most clichéd and oft-used words that mark election campaigns, such as the one we are now beginning to undergo here in Israel, is “change.” One of the basic human drives is to achieve change for the better in one's personal life and in the national life of the country where one resides. Barack Obama was elected president of the United States on the promise of change. Whether...

JEWS AT PRAYER – SOME REFLECTIONS 11/19/2014 12:45 PM

The horrific murders of people at prayer that recently occurred in Jerusalem raises many more questions than answers. The responses to it were varied. CNN saw in it that Israeli police killed two Palestinians. Israeli politicians made their usual vapid comments, promises and revenge statements, all of which in the past have led nowhere. Learned rabbis and savants have attempted the futile task of...

THE CONVERSION BILL 11/17/2014 03:36 PM

One of the current hot button topics here in Israel is pending legislation to make changes in the current process of converting non-Jews to Judaism. The bill itself underwent many compromises and changes until it was approved by the coalition cabinet for presentation to the Knesset for a deciding vote. The bill, in its original form, was backed by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, abetted by...