Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

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...

FECKLESSNESS AND UNWISDOM 7/28/2014 01:38 PM

In Winston Churchill's epic six-volume memoir of the Second World War, in the first volume entitled “The Gathering Storm,” he wrote of the British foreign policy of the 1930s as follows: “[The later disaster was caused by] the English-speaking peoples, [who] through their unwisdom, carelessness and good nature, allowed the wicked to rearm." A good nature is a necessity for personal...

IMPERFECT DEMOCRACY 7/21/2014 12:54 PM

Winston Churchill once famously said that “democracy is a terrible system of government but it is better than any other system.” The irony of that statement has been borne out by the past events of this last century and by current events. It is true that Hitler ruled as a megalomaniac dictator. However, his rise to power was by democratic means and through electoral success. Once in...

WHO WILL GO FOR US? 7/7/2014 12:26 PM

In the great vision that the prophet Isaiah witnessed in Heaven at the onset of his immortal prophetic career, he heard a voice that asked: “Who shall I send and who will go for us?" That verse in Isaiah has always been a marker for me as to how to judge Jewish leaders and other people of note. There are moments in life and in history when that question reverberates throughout the Jewish...

CHRISTIANITY AND ISRAEL 6/23/2014 12:38 PM

It is well known, though hardly discussed in public, that the creation and existence of the State of Israel has created serious theological problems for sections of the Jewish community. But the creation and existence of the State of Israel has created even greater theological and emotional problems for much of the Christian world and many different branches of the overall Christian religion. ...

PRAYING FOR PEACE 6/9/2014 11:54 AM

The much heralded public prayer for peace and reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority took place this week at the Vatican in Rome. The event was hosted and sponsored by Pope Francis and included the participation of religious leaders and official clergy of the three main monotheistic faiths. But the main stars of the event were Shimon Peres, Mohammed Abbas and naturally, the...

IT IS ALWAYS OUR FAULT 5/19/2014 01:44 PM

Part of the fallout from the ill-starred negotiations that recently ended in failure is that somehow blame for this failure cannot be laid at the door of the facilitator, the American State Department and its Secretary of State, but rather it must be assigned to the participants themselves. Originally, President Obama seemed to be even- handed in blaming both participants for the failure of this...

SEEING ISRAEL 4/23/2014 04:34 PM

Since I have spent the past two weeks outside of Israel I have come to the conclusion that the only way to truly see and appreciate Israel is by stepping away from it a little bit, so to speak – to see it from afar. Those of us who are blessed to live in Israel, many times on a regular daily basis gain a very myopic view of the country, its struggles and accomplishments. The rabbis in their...

לראות את ישראל 4/23/2014 03:33 PM

הואיל והעברתי את השבועיים האחרונים מחוץ לישראל, הגעתי למסקנה שהדרך היחידה לראות את ישראל ולהעריך אותה באמת היא לזוז הצדה קצת, כביכול, ולראות אותה מרחוק. אלה מאתנו שנפלה בחלקם הזכות לחיות במדינת ישראל, לא פעם מפתחים...

אמת כואבת 3/24/2014 04:02 PM

כולנו יודעים שלעתים קרובות אין זה מן החוכמה או הנימוס לומר את כל האמת, כי יש לבני האדם כל מיני רגישויות. באחת האמירות המפורסמות שלה שואלת הגמרא את השאלה הרטורית "מי שלקח מקח רע מהשוק, ישבחנו בעיניו או יגננו בעיניו?" אם...