Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

A MESSY WORLD 7/11/2016 03:50 PM

It is fairly obvious to any unbiased observer of our current world scene that things are pretty messy right now. The economic markets are reeling from the unexpected decision of the British electorate to leave the European Union. The sectarian wars in the Moslem world in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia continue without mercy, without abatement and with no exit strategy in...

MACHERS 5/29/2016 01:00 PM

Because of the constantly creeping overreach of government into all areas of our lives, a new industry was created here in Israel – and certainly not only in Israel but in every other country and political system in the world. Here in Israel, people who are engaged full time in this industry are called “machers.” Loosely translated from the original Yiddish, the word connotes people who are...

BECHUKOTAI 5/22/2016 04:10 PM

From a cursory review of this week’s Torah reading, one can easily come to the conclusion that God’s method for dealing with us is with earthly rewards and punishments. The blessings that appear in the reading are all physical, emotional and sometimes psychological. There is no mention of eternal life, the survival of the soul, and/or of the rewards in the World to Come. And the same is...

MEMORIAL DAYS 5/5/2016 03:50 PM

The last days of April and the beginning days of May are days of memory and remembrance here in Israel. The last Monday in May is Memorial Day in the United States. Official days of remembrance are the feeble attempts of nations and governments to somehow strengthen and revitalize national memory. They recall for us difficult times, great human sacrifice and always attempt to teach a lesson from...

IT IS CLOSING DOWN 5/2/2016 03:12 PM

One of the great cardinal errors of early Zionism was its complete negation of the millennia old Exile and the achievements of the Jews in that Exile. The early Zionist leaders did not stress the spiritual, national and psychological allure of the Land of Israel as much as they emphasized the shortcomings of Jewish life in the lands of Jewish dispersion. This philosophy generated a great deal of...

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...

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...

DENIERS AND IGNORERS 1/11/2016 01:28 PM

I wrote an article last week about the strange Holocaust deniers who exist in the world, inside and outside of our Jewish camp and even in our religious world. The motives that drive such people are diverse and often perverse. They range from the smugness of knowing what God’s plans are and the assurance that those plans must somehow conform to one’s own preconceived assessment as to how...