Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

THE TRUTH HURTS 3/24/2014 12:45 PM

We are all well aware that it is oftentimes not polite or wise to state the whole truth when human sensitivities are involved. The Talmud in one of its famous statements asks the rhetorical question: “If one has purchased an item in the marketplace, should his friend praise the purchase or denigrate it?” The Talmud apparently feels that it is discourteous if not even downright mean to...

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...

RABBI ISAAC HALEVI HERZOG 1/13/2014 10:51 AM

At the end of last month I attended an all day conference here in Jerusalem commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of Rabbi Isaac Herzog’s seminal Ph.D. thesis that he submitted to the University of London. The thesis was a scientific, historical and halachic review of the source of the ancient dye used to produce techelet colored wool for the priestly garments and for the tzitzit/fringes...

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...

עיתונאות ירמיהו 12/22/2013 06:58 AM

לאחרונה קראתי מאמר בירחון "קומנטרי" על מה שמכונה "עיתונאות ירמיהו". אני חש אמנם שהכותרת והתיאור מאוד לא הוגנים כלפי אחד מנביאי ישראל הגדולים, אך המונח הזה כבר נעשה מקובל בעולם. ירמיהו ניבא את חורבן בית ראשון וממלכת...

THE TRUTH OF SATIRE 12/2/2013 03:05 PM

There is a wickedly funny and enormously sad piece of satire making the rounds about a “Lithuanian” charedi father attempting to explain to his inquisitive child the story of the Hasmoneans and their triumph over the Greeks. On the one hand the Hasmoneans were staunch “Lithuanian “charedim who learned all day, while on the other hand they apparently had weapons, organized an army that...

PROMISES 11/24/2013 07:43 PM

There was recently a fairly bruising primary election here in Israel for leadership of the Labor Party, the main current opposition faction in the Israeli Knesset. As is always the case in electioneering, the two candidates made many solemn promises to their voters. “Vote for me and I promise you that I will do great things for you and for our party,” was their mantra. Of course we all...

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. ...

ברוך הבא, פרנסואה 11/17/2013 10:49 AM

אחד הדברים שכל הזמן מפליאים אותי במדינה הקטנה והנפלאה שלנו הוא העובדה שכולם (חוץ מרוב יהודי אמריקה) רוצים לבקר אותנו. לאורך כל השנה פוקדים אותנו ראשי מדינות, משלחות סחר, חברי פרלמנטים זרים, מנהיגים מכל הדתות, פרופסורים...

ישראל הבודדה 11/4/2013 11:13 AM

הנביא מתאבל על כך שאין לירושלים אנשים שמתעניינים בה ושואלים לשלומה. זה נכון באופן כללי לגבי מדינת ישראל וירושלים היום. בעולם היום יש הרבה עניין ב"פלשתינאים" ובמאבק שלהם לשים קץ למדינה היהודית כך או אחרת. טענות...