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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

JEWISH SOLIDARITY 8/17/2015 02:04 PM

One of the hallmarks of the story of the Jewish people over the millennia of our existence has been the fact that Jews, no matter what their political persuasion or level of religious belief and observance, always seem to care for one another. Though there always were divergent interests and different agendas present in the Jewish world, nevertheless when Jews were in mortal danger the Jewish...

NOTHING ORIGINAL 8/3/2015 12:30 PM

I imagine that most blogs and commentary articles in the Jewish world this week will concentrate on the tragic and difficult events that occurred in Israel with the firebomb murder of a Palestinian infant and the slashing attack by a religious fanatic upon participants at a parade in Jerusalem. It certainly makes sense that these events should be written about and commented upon for they...

POST-TISHA B’AV THOUGHTS 7/27/2015 12:45 PM

I spent the better part of the afternoon of Tisha B’Av reading a book recently published concerning the history of Chicago's Orthodox rabbinate from the late 1800s to the middle of the twentieth century. The book has special meaning to me since I knew many of the rabbis described in the book during my early years in Chicago a half-century ago. Also the fact that my father and grandfather...

HUMAN NATURE 7/13/2015 01:39 PM

In a rapidly changing world of technology, advances in medicine and ever shifting social mores, there remains one constant in life and that is the unchanging nature of human beings. No matter how clearly the failures of the past are recorded for us, we seem determined to repeat those errors. This is especially and poignantly true when considering that we have now entered the time of contemplation...

GOING SHOPPING 7/5/2015 02:14 PM

Those who know me will testify that I am not a person who enjoys shopping. There are people who simply love to go shopping. In fact there is an entire human activity, bordering on an industry, called ”going shopping.” And there are many practitioners of this activity and I am not merely speaking of window shopping, which is an entirely different genre by itself, but I am talking about real...

LOSING TEAMS 6/28/2015 01:42 PM

I have always felt that part of the attraction of sports, especially professional sports, leagues and teams, is that it somehow represents a metaphor for general life. One of the great ongoing mysteries of sports is the loyalty that losing teams continue to exercise over their fan base year after year and even decade after decade. The Chicago Cubs have not won a championship in major league...

FACT AND OPINION 6/15/2015 01:10 PM

One of my daughters told me a wonderful story last week – a story that I have already used in one of my public lectures here in Jerusalem. The story goes as follows: A third-grade child that attends a Jewish day school in the United States has two teachers – one for religious Hebrew studies and one for the general studies program. The general studies teacher was trying to explain to her...

I’VE GOT YOUR BACK 5/26/2015 12:18 PM

The president of the United States has recently reassured us and proclaimed that “America has Israel’s back”. Given the recent controversies between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the United States, this message was meant to soothe the relationship between the two countries and to allow for a more positive progression of policies that would be in their mutual interest. ...

POLLS AND PUNDITS 5/13/2015 01:51 PM

It has been a tough month for the political experts amongst us. There were two major elections that commanded international interest and media coverage. One was here in Israel and the second one just concluded in the United Kingdom. In both instances the media, in the main, was heavily biased towards the Left. Isaac Herzog, Tzipi Livni and their left of center Zionist Union party was adored by...

GROWING UP 4/26/2015 02:14 PM

All children grow up and hopefully mature into independent, self-sufficient and productive adults. The Torah itself advocates this process when it states that “therefore every man shall leave his father and mother” in order to marry and build one's own home and family. Growing up is often a painful process for both parents and children. I have often advocated the idea that everyone should...