Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

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...

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...