Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Modern history

SPRING AHEAD 3/31/2014 02:37 PM

Last week Israel joined the United States and the other Western countries which had already pushed their clocks ahead one hour - going to summer Daylight Savings Time. The advantages of doing so are still somewhat debatable. There was even a report in the media last week that the switch to summer Daylight Savings Time somehow contributes to an increased risk of heart attack! But, summer...

THE PAST AND THE PRESENT 3/17/2014 11:46 AM

I received a great deal of comment about my last week’s article on the mental and social regression of a large section of Israeli society. Most of the comments were neither complimentary nor critical but were rather requests for more specifics about the need for change in the mindset of much of Orthodox Jewry here in Israel and in the Diaspora as well. Still under the influence of Purim and...

העבר וההווה 3/16/2014 03:56 PM

קיבלתי הרבה הערות על המאמר שלי בשבוע שעבר על הנסיגה המנטאלית והחברתית של חלק גדול בחברה הישראלית. רוב ההערות לא היו מחמאות או ביקורת אלא בקשות לפרטים נוספים על הצורך בשינוי בהלך הרוח של היהדות האורתודוכסית בישראל וגם...

UKRAINE AND US 3/3/2014 01:08 PM

Ukraine occupies a very tortured and bloody place in the history of Eastern Europe. Sandwiched between Poland, Austro-Hungary and Russia and being neither Polish nor Russian in language, faith and ethnic culture, it always found itself in a very bad neighborhood. Stalin and Khruschev starved five million Ukrainians to death in the 1920s to enforce their agricultural collectivization program....

THE INEQUALITY OF IT ALL 1/5/2014 07:54 PM

The current spate of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the watchful eye and undue pressure of the United States, though shrouded in silence and mystery, apparently is not really going anywhere soon. As is usual in the negotiation pattern of the past twenty years, Israel gives tangible assets away to the Palestinians – land, weapons, financial aid and the release...

WELCOME, WELL SORT OF, FRANCOIS 11/18/2013 11:37 AM

One of the many continuing and ongoing wonders of our wonderful little state is that everyone (except for most American Jews) seems to wish to visit us. We are treated all year long to a plethora of visiting heads of states, commercial delegations, foreign legislators, religious leaders of all faiths, professors and intellectuals, artists and musicians and a few million other nice people. ...

YECHEZKEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST 10/6/2013 07:00 AM

I am not usually given to interpreting prophecy or dealing with messianic and/or apocalyptic visions. However, I have recently been reviewing the book of the prophet Yechezkel and could not help but think that many of the prophecies recorded in the middle section of the book are eerily similar to events that are occurring in our present day Middle Eastern part of the world. The prophet...

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS 7/28/2013 06:01 AM

Though Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly a great intellect and a skilled political leader, I have never been given to carefully dissect his writings in order to discover subtle philosophical nuances and deeply hidden meanings. Usually, for me, only Torah contents are worthy of such scrutiny, for their messages are eternal and relevant for all times, circumstances and every generation - and indeed...

UNDOING THE PAST 7/21/2013 06:06 AM

One of the impossible tasks in human life is undoing the past. Perhaps even more tragic, and even unfair, is judging the past by current norms and standards. Yet no matter what we attempt, the past always rises up to bite us. Since all of us make mistakes in our lifetimes, the past is always a danger to us. In the scheme of things we are always remembered for our past failings rather than for...

GERMANY, POLAND, EUROPE AND THE JEWS 7/19/2013 07:00 AM

It should be obvious to all except the most delusional of us that Europe does not like Jews, Judaism, Israel and anything that reminds it of those subjects. Germany almost banned circumcision. They reasoned (?) that since the baby didn’t consent, his civil rights were being violated. But vaccinations are certainly allowed without the baby’s permission, as is enforced school attendance and...