Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE 8/10/2015 12:58 PM

There is one thing that we can all agree upon and it is is that the existence and policies of the State of Israel, no matter which party is in power, makes Jews the world over feel uncomfortable. There always is some untoward incident, bad behavior, foolish governmental policy or controversial and aggressive stance that makes many Jews squirm in their seats. Because of this discomfort, there...

NOTHING ORIGINAL 8/3/2015 12:30 PM

I imagine that most blogs and commentary articles in the Jewish world this week will concentrate on the tragic and difficult events that occurred in Israel with the firebomb murder of a Palestinian infant and the slashing attack by a religious fanatic upon participants at a parade in Jerusalem. It certainly makes sense that these events should be written about and commented upon for they...

FACT AND OPINION 6/15/2015 01:10 PM

One of my daughters told me a wonderful story last week – a story that I have already used in one of my public lectures here in Jerusalem. The story goes as follows: A third-grade child that attends a Jewish day school in the United States has two teachers – one for religious Hebrew studies and one for the general studies program. The general studies teacher was trying to explain to her...

FIFA AND RABBI RISKIN 6/8/2015 02:52 PM

There is much irony present in the news of the day and there also are connections between stories about apparently disparate subjects that can be easily overlooked. As unlikely as it seems, I discern a distinct connection between the debacle and justified humbling of FIFA – the self-proclaimed holy guardian of world football/soccer and of international sports generally – and the ill-timed,...

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. ...

POLLS AND PUNDITS 5/13/2015 01:51 PM

It has been a tough month for the political experts amongst us. There were two major elections that commanded international interest and media coverage. One was here in Israel and the second one just concluded in the United Kingdom. In both instances the media, in the main, was heavily biased towards the Left. Isaac Herzog, Tzipi Livni and their left of center Zionist Union party was adored by...

MAY DAY 5/4/2015 03:59 PM

May 1 is the most sacred and significant day of the year on the calendar of the universal Left. It was, and in certain countries still is, the day of the Red Flag and the marching parade of millions of workers and the proletariat throughout the world. In the halcyon days of the Soviet Union, terrible and aggressive weapons of destruction were paraded before the eyes of the world in Red Square...

B’HAR 5/3/2015 02:20 PM

The emphasis that the Torah places on the location – Mount Sinai – where Moshe received the Torah and its commandments, and the particular commandment regarding the observance of a sabbatical year, has been an issue of much interest to the commentators on the Torah over the ages. Rashi, quoting the famous rabbinic dictum, states that the words “Mount Sinai” indicate to us that just as...

DISCONNECTION 3/16/2015 01:21 PM

One of the problems that faces religious leadership in the Jewish world, especially the leadership of the great scholars and heads of the leading educational institutions here in Israel, is that there is a chasm of disconnect between them and the masses that they wish to lead and influence. I remember that once when I was a rabbi in Miami Beach many decades ago, a noted Israeli Talmudic...

VAYIKRA 3/16/2015 01:19 PM

The word vayikra that begins this week's Torah reading, and is the name of the third book of the Chumash, is distinguished by having a miniature alef at the end of the word. I have written about this exceptional script/font in previous years. I concentrated then mainly on the traditional explanation that this small letter was inserted in the Torah to highlight the abject humility of our teacher...