Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

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...

MY BOOKS 1/19/2015 12:56 PM

I have always been a lover of books. Even when I was a young student in the yeshiva many decades ago I would read books on all sorts of different subjects. Back then, I then used the meager financial resources at my disposal to purchase books. Prices were different then and for three dollars I was able to obtain classic books by great Talmudic scholars. When I was a rabbi in Miami Beach, I...

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD 1/5/2015 03:06 PM

We currently find ourselves at the beginning of the month of January, which is the first month of the secular year. January derives its name from the pagan god Janus, who was given two faces, one looking in one direction and the other in the opposite direction. It became the symbol of the past and the future, the old year and the new one, of looking back and looking ahead at the same time. ...

CHESS MASTERS 12/15/2014 02:12 PM

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the noted educator, author and Talmudist recently wrote a lengthy article in one of the religiously oriented newspapers here in Israel about the problems of curriculum as it currently exists in Israeli Orthodox Jewish schools - and worldwide. He decried what he considered to be the over-emphasis and even exclusivity of the study of Talmud, to the exception of all other...

THE GIFT OF GENERATIONS 12/1/2014 12:23 PM

The Lord blessed me last week with the birth of a great-grandson. As I began writing this article I almost slipped and wrote “another” great-grandson. I have been blessed many times over with becoming a great-grandfather. But I caught myself and did not write “another” great-grandchild because the birth of every great-grandchild is unique and special. I come from a generation where I and...

מתנת הדורות 11/30/2014 01:18 PM

האלקים ברכני בשבוע שעבר בהולדת נין. כשהתחלתי לכתוב את המאמר הזה כמעט כתבתי "עוד" נין. התברכתי פעמים רבות בזכות להפוך לסבא-רבא, אבל תפסתי את עצמי בזמן ולא כתבתי "עוד" נין, כי הלידה של כל נין היא מיוחדת וייחודית. אני בא מדור...

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...

החצי הריק 11/23/2014 11:42 AM

תמיד השתדלתי להיות אדם פרגמאטי, ריאלי, אם תרצו. כשאתה אדם מהסוג הזה, היתרון הוא שרק לעתים נדירות אתה נתקל במשהו שבאמת מדהים או מפתיע אותך. אתה מבין שהשיאים של החיים אינם כל כך גבוהים, וגם נקודות השפל אינן כה נמוכות...

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...

KLINGHOFFER 10/27/2014 12:59 PM

An elderly, crippled, wheel chair bound Jew by the name of Klinghoffer was thrown overboard from a cruise ship by Arab terrorists about a decade ago. Klinghoffer’s only crime was that he was Jewish. These facts are uncontested and well-documented. Nevertheless, in the name of artistic freedom, a play was written that justified the murderous deed and intimated that Klinghoffer’s murder was...