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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

WINTER BLUES 2/1/2016 12:15 PM

Having lived in Israel for the past nineteen years, memories of winter in Monsey, New York have faded from my memory. That is not all that has faded from my memory but that is a different matter for a different discussion. Finding myself in Monsey at this time of the year, I have been experiencing weather that has been cold and very snowy. It is mid-winter here in the northeastern part of the...

RIVALRIES 1/24/2016 10:31 AM

Being raised as an only child in my parents’ home I was spared the experiences and challenges of sibling rivalries. Not having anyone to compete with I was blissfully unaware that there were others who felt that they were also entitled to parental love, weekly allowances and unlimited bathroom privileges. No one ever dared to wear my clothing, play with my toys or read my books without my...

THE NON-SLIP TALIT 1/17/2016 07:25 AM

A dear friend and rabbinic colleague of mine casually mentioned to me that as a gift for his birthday his wife presented him with a new tallit - the kind that does not constantly slip off of one’s shoulders when in prayerful use. I was intrigued by this revelation on two counts. There are still spouses around who give each other birthday gifts?! And, secondly, is it possible that technology has...

THE IRRELEVANCE OF IT ALL 11/17/2015 01:53 PM

In attempting to be currently relevant, in the long view of history and human events, is the danger of becoming totally irrelevant. This occurs when dealing with transient issues, when a long-term view is what is really necessary. By reading and listening to the media, the bloggers, and the party and convention planners among us, one would believe that the fate of the Jewish people, the State of...

DISAPPOINTMENTS 11/9/2015 01:38 PM

Disappoints are almost always based on the failure of people, technological gadgets or public policies to live up to expectations. Therefore, the higher the expectations are, the greater the disappointments. Because we invest so much confidence and hope in our political leaders, we are invariably doomed to disappointment and frustration when they turn out to be merely fallible human beings. ...

WHO KNOWS TWELVE? 11/2/2015 01:14 PM

In the interests if transparency and honesty, let me state at the outset here that this brilliant essay is completely self-serving and personally motivated. But nevertheless it does, in my opinion, contain ideas and insights that may prove worthwhile to my long-suffering loyal readers. The name of my newly published book is “Who Knows Twelve – Insights and Values From the Book of Trei-Asar...

FIRST RAINS 10/12/2015 03:18 PM

Right on schedule, immediately after the holiday of Succot and the annual prayer for rain, the Land of Israel experienced its first inclement weather of the season. One of the many wonders of the natural beauty and climate of Israel is the fact that for seven months of the year there is practically no rain that falls in our country. Everyone knows that an outdoor summer wedding can be planned...

MURDER AND HYPOCRISY 10/7/2015 02:51 PM

Even though the holiday of Sukkoth is the time of our happiness and joy, with the streets of Jerusalem filled with visitors and tourists, the events that took place during the holiday week saddened all of us. A young father and mother, descendants of a famed rabbinic family of leaders and educators were brutally murdered by Arab terrorists. Their four small children somehow survived the attack,...

GIFTS 9/20/2015 12:54 PM

Judaism views life itself as the ultimate gift granted to us by Heaven. As such, it takes the highest prominence and priority. However, most humans, when not in situations of danger and emergency, hardly view their lives in such a perspective. Instead of seeing it as a gift, most humans simply see it as a given state of existence to which they are somehow entitled. Because of this view, life...

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...