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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

POLITICS AS RELIGION 6/25/2017 01:01 PM

One of the interesting societal phenomena of our time, both in Jewish and general society, is the elevation of political beliefs and ideas to the level of faith and religion itself. For most of American Jewry, values of the progressive Left have become an ersatz Judaism, treasured and followed and reflected in the pronouncements and stance of much of what passes today as Reform and Conservative...

JUST CANNOT LET GO 6/18/2017 03:51 PM

Ideologies and long-held beliefs die hard, even when they have long been surpassed by events and circumstances. Those who believed in them and promulgated them find it difficult, if not impossible, to adjust to the reality of the current actual situation. There are many examples of this present in today's world. There still are anarchists and Marxists in academia and in other influential...

DREAMS 6/5/2017 05:27 PM

In the English language, the concept of dreams usually has a positive connotation. Negative dreams are call nightmares. In Hebrew, however, the word for dreams is neutral-which connote both positive and happy dreams as well as dreams that are troubling and unpleasant. The subject of dreams is widely discussed in Talmudic and rabbinic writings and in Hebrew literature. In fact there is an entire...

RETURNING HOME 5/14/2017 03:51 PM

I recently returned home to my residence in Jerusalem after an extended stay in the United States. Returning home has always been a difficult and challenging exercise for me. It is not only the enormous amount of mail that seemingly awaits my attention or the frantic messages left on my Israeli phone – most of which are unimportant or now irrelevant – as much as it is the necessary...

FOCUS AND VISION 4/24/2017 01:08 PM

I once heard the Ponevezher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman say to a potential donor that he no longer had the ability to sleep normally for a number of hours but he had not lost his ability to continue to dream. I thought about this last week after returning from my visit t to my opthamologist/retinologist who confirmed the fact that my eyesight is no longer what it once was. But I comforted myself...

NO SERVICE 3/27/2017 02:40 PM

On my recent trip to America I encountered great difficulty with my mobile phone. It kept on telling me that it could not complete the calls I was attempting to make because there was “no service.” This happened at numerous locations throughout my American stay, frustrating me greatly. I was hooked up to a major American telecom provider and could not understand why I was encountering this...

SPRINGTIME 3/20/2017 05:14 PM

Those of us who are living in the northern hemisphere of our globe are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of springtime and the end of the winter weather woes. Here in Israel we had a fairly normal winter with a decent amount of rain and a few cold spells. In the main however it was an unremarkable winter, weather wise. Nevertheless, winter is winter and I for one am anxiously and excitedly...

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE 3/13/2017 01:25 PM

I recently was on the tour of the Galilee region here in Israel. The tour stopped for a visit in the town of Rosh Pina. Because of cars parked on both sides of the street, the bus was unable to negotiate and brings us to the top of the hill where the walking tour would begin. Since I had visited Rosh Pina a number of times previously, I decided that I would remain on the bus instead of climbing...

A LITTLE TOO JEWISH 2/27/2017 02:27 PM

There were a number of articles written here in the Israeli newspapers about the determined opposition of Reform in America to the appointment of David Friedman as the American ambassador to Israel. The shameful behavior of a number of Jews at the Senate confirmation hearing of Friedman – shofar blowing and all – only points out the great fault line that exists in American Jewish society...

LOST KEYS 2/20/2017 02:16 PM

A short time ago I was attempting to lock the gates that provide entry into my apartment from the elevator. With my current usual fumbling self, the keys – precious as they are – fell from my hand. There is a very small opening between the edge of the elevator and floor of my apartment, so small that one hardly takes notice of it. Nevertheless, my keys found that aperture and with a thud came...