Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

SHAVUOT 5/18/2015 12:37 PM

Fifty days pass quickly, especially if one counts them individually. It seems that it was just yesterday that we were preparing ourselves to sit down at the Pesach seder table and here it is Shavuot at the end of the week. Though the holiday has a number of other names associated with it – the Festival of Bikurim/First Fruits, the festival of the granting of the Torah – the proper name...

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...

MAY DAY 5/4/2015 03:59 PM

May 1 is the most sacred and significant day of the year on the calendar of the universal Left. It was, and in certain countries still is, the day of the Red Flag and the marching parade of millions of workers and the proletariat throughout the world. In the halcyon days of the Soviet Union, terrible and aggressive weapons of destruction were paraded before the eyes of the world in Red Square...

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...

ZEITGEIST 4/26/2015 01:04 PM

There is no way that anyone can completely shut the door of one’s religious Jewish home to exclude the influences of prevailing culture from entering our living quarters and influencing our families. The zeitgeist – the prevailing culture of the time and place -has always been a powerful and sometime detrimental force in Jewish history. It was the existing zeitgeist of rampant and...

התבגרות 4/24/2015 01:15 PM

כל הילדים גדלים, כך אנחנו מקווים, ונעשים לאנשים בוגרים עצמאים ויצרנים שיודעים להסתדר בכוחות עצמם. התורה עצמה דוגלת בתהליך הזה כשהיא אומרת לנו "על כן יעזוב איש את אביו ואת אמו" כדי לשאת אישה ולבנות את ביתו ומשפחתו. אך לא...

אידיאולוגיה ומציאות 4/20/2015 01:04 PM

התורה שלנו מתארת את עצמה כתורת חיים. אפשר לפרש את הביטוי הזה בדרכים שונות. הוא יכול להתייחס לעובדה שהתורה נצחית, תוססת ומתחדשת תמיד, מקור ומעיין של חיים – זאת תורת חיים. אך לפי לדעתי הביטוי הזה מבקש לומר שהיא גם, אם לא...

IDEOLOGY AND REALITY 4/19/2015 01:01 PM

The Torah describes itself as a Torat chayim - a Torah of life and living. There are many possible interpretations of this phrase. It can refer to the fact that the Torah is eternal, vibrant and ever renewing, the source and fountain of life – that it is a living Torah. However to my mind, this phrase implies that it is also, if not even primarily so, the Torah of practicality and reality. ...

SFIRA 4/9/2015 01:12 PM

Sfira marks the longest-running commandment of the Torah. It occupies forty nine days on the yearly Jewish calendar. It has been encrusted with customs in commemoration of events in Jewish history, some happy and some not so happy. Although most of Sfira is low-key if not even somber, there are minor festival days that are also included during this period of time. Sfira reflects much of what our...

פסח 3/30/2015 03:20 PM

מישהו אמר באוזניי לאחרונה שהוא לא מבין או רואה איך אפשר לדבר על משהו חדש בשולחן הסדר בפסח – כל מה שאפשר היה להגיד ולפרש כבר נאמר בכל עשרות השנים שהוא חוגג את חג הפסח. אמרתי לו שאני חושב שההשקפה שלו בנוגע לסדר פסח החג קצת...