Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

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...

חוק הגיור 11/16/2014 01:19 PM

אחד הנושאים הכי חמים ושנויים במחלוקת היום בישראל הוא החקיקה שמבקשת לעשות שינויים בתהליך הגיור הקיים במדינה היהודית כיום. החוק עצמו עבר הרבה שינויים ופשרות עד שאושר על ידי הממשלה והקואליציה והועבר לכנסת להצבעה....

CATS 11/10/2014 01:49 PM

Like all of the wondrous creatures that the Lord has populated our natural world with, the cat family is most interesting and unique. The big cats such as the lion, leopard and the tiger are marvelous machines of prey, grace and beauty. Their smaller relatives, equally dangerous and equipped with speed and cunning, such as the jaguar and the cheetah are, in their own right, breathtaking in...

IKEA 11/3/2014 02:17 PM

The Swedish furniture maker IKEA made the headlines this past week, even though it was an innocent bystander to the war of words between the Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his female Swedish counterpart. Reacting to Sweden's recognition of a Palestinian state on the West Bank, Lieberman caustically said that “the Middle East and the Palestinian – Israeli dispute is slightly...

THE RESIDUE OF THE GREAT WAR 10/20/2014 01:45 PM

What is Europe’s problem and hang up with the State of Israel? Why is it so focused on this Middle Eastern conflict, almost to the exclusion of other seemingly greater issues closer to home? Anti-Semitism certainly plays a role in this European fixation regarding Israel but I do not believe that it is the sole, and perhaps not even the main catalyst driving European policies, statements and...

SOME THOUGHTS FOR ELUL 9/8/2014 03:10 PM

The month of Elul has always been portrayed as a time of introspection. As we prepare for the coming good and blessed year of 5775, we should also stop to consider the occurrences and events of the past year, 5774. Like most of life, it was a year of contrasts and mixed messages. Israel and the Palestinian Authority negotiated for most of the year but any sort of meaningful agreement failed to...

KI TAVO 9/8/2014 02:35 PM

In this week’s parsha, all of Jewish history is reflected in the two relatively short scenarios that the Torah describes for us. There is the opening section of the parsha – the promise that the Jewish people will come into the Land of Israel, settle there, develop the country, build the Temple and express their gratitude to God for the blessings that He has bestowed upon them. They will...

BITTER LESSONS 8/25/2014 12:38 PM

The past has many bitter lessons for the present. Many times the lessons themselves unfortunately provide no answer to current dilemmas since they provided no clear answer to the past dilemmas either. That is what makes these types of historical lessons such bitter ones. It presents the problem in clear perspective but denies us any clear solution to it. One hundred years ago at the...

THIS ONE FEELS DIFFERENT 8/3/2014 01:52 PM

I have been present in Israel for a number of wars that this small, grave country has been forced to endure. Even before I made Aliyah, I was present here during the first Gulf War when Saddam Hussein rained SCUDs on a then defenseless population here in Israel. Since then I have lived here as an Israeli resident and citizen during the first and second intifada, the second Lebanon war, the...