Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

FORTUNE AND EQUALITY 1/26/2015 01:36 PM

One of the more popular and populist social and electoral issues here in Israel and in the rest of the Western world as well, is rectifying the seeming inequality of the distribution of wealth. The upper five percent of the population, in terms of wealth worldwide, control close to eighty percent of the wealth of the societies that they inhabit. In order to correct this seemingly unfair...

THE PALESTINIAN REFUGEES 1/12/2015 01:37 PM

One of the tragic consequences of war is that thousands and perhaps even millions of civilians are displaced, uprooted from their homes and lives and have involuntarily acquired the unwanted distinction of becoming refugees. Yet, in most instances regarding refugees after the wars of the twentieth century, these refugees eventually found new homes and new lives – many times better homes and...

UPS AND DOWNS 12/29/2014 11:19 AM

Though every election in Israel is full of surprises, because we are a restless and constantly dissatisfied people there is a pattern that has emerged from all of the previous nineteen elections that have bedeviled us over the past sixty-six years. The pattern includes constant fragmentation of existing parties as personal ambition and rigid ideology overtake practical and achievable goals. ...

EUROPE IS GONE 12/24/2014 11:42 AM

What can one say about Europe? I imagine that if one wants to be bitterly truthful then one could easily say that Hitler has in effect triumphed. He branded the Jews as the root of all troubles and proclaimed that the “final” and only solution to the “Jewish problem” was to eradicate all Jews from the face of the earth. And as we all know, he followed through on his genocidal program. ...

LOOSE CHANGE 12/8/2014 01:13 PM

One of the most clichéd and oft-used words that mark election campaigns, such as the one we are now beginning to undergo here in Israel, is “change.” One of the basic human drives is to achieve change for the better in one's personal life and in the national life of the country where one resides. Barack Obama was elected president of the United States on the promise of change. Whether...

שינוי קל 12/7/2014 12:09 PM

אחת המילים השכיחות ביותר בקלישאות שנשמעות במערכות בחירות, כמו זאת שאנחנו נמצאים בפתחה כאן, בישראל, היא "שינוי". אחד הדחפים הבסיסיים ביותר של האדם הוא לחולל שינוי לטובה בחייו האישיים וגם בחיים הלאומיים של הארץ שבה הוא...

HALF EMPTY 11/24/2014 01:44 PM

I have always attempted to be a pragmatist, a realist, if you will. The advantage of being such a realist is that one is rarely truly shocked or surprised by the events of life as they unfold. The highs of life are not really that high and the lows are not really that low. It becomes a matter of perspective, of patience, and above all, a matter of faith. It is the high expectations that we...

ויצא 11/23/2014 11:47 AM

יעקב אבינו התמודד עם הרבה אתגרים קשים בחייו הארוכים ורבי התהפוכות. פרשת השבוע עוסקת באחד מהאתגרים הקשים שיכולים לעמוד בפנים כל אדם – הניתוק הגופני והרגשי ממשפחתו ומסביבתו המוכרת. וכמו כדי להוסיף למורכבות של האתגר...

JEWS AT PRAYER – SOME REFLECTIONS 11/19/2014 12:45 PM

The horrific murders of people at prayer that recently occurred in Jerusalem raises many more questions than answers. The responses to it were varied. CNN saw in it that Israeli police killed two Palestinians. Israeli politicians made their usual vapid comments, promises and revenge statements, all of which in the past have led nowhere. Learned rabbis and savants have attempted the futile task of...

THE CONVERSION BILL 11/17/2014 03:36 PM

One of the current hot button topics here in Israel is pending legislation to make changes in the current process of converting non-Jews to Judaism. The bill itself underwent many compromises and changes until it was approved by the coalition cabinet for presentation to the Knesset for a deciding vote. The bill, in its original form, was backed by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, abetted by...