Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

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...

זאת אשמתנו – האומנם? 2/24/2015 01:01 PM

שגריר ישראל בשוודיה התראיין השבוע בתחנת רדיו בשטוקהולם. הוא התראיין בהקשר לפיגוע בקופנהגן שבו נרצח מאבטח היהודי ליד בית הכנסת. אחרי שהשגריר נתן ביטוי לתחושות האימה והקבס שהוא חש בעניין זה, שאלה אותו המראיינת ה'מקסימה'...

IT IS OUR FAULT – REALLY? 2/23/2015 12:56 PM

The Israeli ambassador to Sweden was interviewed this week on a radio station in Stockholm. He was being interviewed in connection with the recent killing of a Jewish security guard outside of the synagogue in Copenhagen. The charming woman interviewer, after the ambassador expressed is horror and disgust over the matter, asked him: “Don’t you think that the Jews also have to shoulder some...

NONSENSE 2/16/2015 03:46 PM

The famous legend is that while Rome burned to the ground, its emperor Nero entertained himself by fiddling on his violin. The current election campaign in Israel reminds me of that legend. Every nonsensical issue from returning used bottles and pocketing the deposits to the current contempts regarding the appointment, firing and reappointment of avowed leftists as judges for the awarding of the...

הבלים 2/15/2015 05:41 PM

האגדה המפורסמת מספרת שכאשר רומא נשרפה עד היסוד, הקיסר נירון שעשע את עצמו בנגינה בכינורו. מערכת הבחירות הנוכחית בישראל מזכירה לי את האגדה הזאת. כל נושא מטופש - החל מהחזרת בקבוקים משומשים וגניבת כספי הפיקדון ועד הוויכוח...

ציפיות 2/6/2015 03:07 PM

חלק גדול מהתגובות שלנו לדברים שמתרחשים נקבע על פי הציפיות שהיו לנו מהאירועים או מהאנשים הנוגעים בדבר. כשיש לנו ציפיות גדולות להצלחה, למוסריות ולהתנהגות אלטרואיסטית מהמנהיגים שלנו, בין אם הם פוליטיים או דתיים, לאומיים...

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. ...