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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

PESACH 3/30/2015 01:48 PM

Someone remarked to me recently that he did not see or feel how anything new could be discussed at his Seder table – everything that could have been said and analyzed had been said over all of the past decades of his commemorating Pesach. I told him that I thought he had too narrow a view concerning the commemoration of Pesach. The broad human and particularly Jewish issues of bondage,...

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...

ניתוק 3/15/2015 01:54 PM

אחת הבעיות שניצבות בפני ההנהגה הדתית של העולם היהודי, במיוחד ההנהגה של הרבנים הגדולים וראשי מוסדות החינוך הדתיים המובילים בישראל, היא העובדה שיש תהום פעורה של נתק בינם לבין ההמונים שהם מבקשים להנהיג ועליהם הם מבקשים...

IMPUDENCE AND IMPOTENCE 3/9/2015 01:57 PM

It has been a strange and difficult winter weather-wise both in the United States and here in Israel. Jerusalem has absorbed two major snowstorms and the country as a whole felt bitter cold and even snow in areas of our land that are certainly not accustomed to such happenings. The United States has been in the grip of an Arctic polar vortex that has made snow and cold very unpopular words over...

חוצפה וחוסר אונים 3/8/2015 02:35 PM

היה זה חורף מוזר וקשה מבחינת מזג האוויר גם בארה"ב וגם כאן, בישראל. את הארץ כולה פקדה צינה עזה, ירושלים "זכתה" לשתי סערות שלג גדולות ושלג ירד אפילו באזורים בארץ שבוודאי אינם מורגלים בתופעות טבע כאלה. ארצות הברית הייתה...

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN 3/2/2015 01:42 PM

One of the great dangers in life, both national and personal, is looking backwards and dwelling upon what could have been, had we but chosen to behave and choose otherwise. There is much to be said for knowing history and appreciating the past. Yet the past, glorious and correct as we may wish to make it in our memory, is simply no longer here and many times it is no longer relevant to the issues...

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...

NEVER AGAIN 2/2/2015 01:01 PM

I am well aware that there is no use beating a dead horse and that the subject of the Holocaust is already in the minds of most of the world's population, truly a dead horse. Last week the United Nations and over fifty countries commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the expulsion of the Germans from the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. This commemoration was marked by the usual plethora of...

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...