Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

PESACH 4/7/2014 10:42 AM

The glorious holiday of Pesach is upon us once more. With all of its rituals and wonder, Pesach marks the uniqueness of the Jewish people – a people delivered from centuries of bondage through miraculous Heavenly intervention. So, one of the main functions of Pesach is to connect us to an event that occurred millennia ago in a distant land. The natural inclination of people is to feel...

SPRING AHEAD 3/31/2014 02:37 PM

Last week Israel joined the United States and the other Western countries which had already pushed their clocks ahead one hour - going to summer Daylight Savings Time. The advantages of doing so are still somewhat debatable. There was even a report in the media last week that the switch to summer Daylight Savings Time somehow contributes to an increased risk of heart attack! But, summer...

THE TRUTH HURTS 3/24/2014 12:45 PM

We are all well aware that it is oftentimes not polite or wise to state the whole truth when human sensitivities are involved. The Talmud in one of its famous statements asks the rhetorical question: “If one has purchased an item in the marketplace, should his friend praise the purchase or denigrate it?” The Talmud apparently feels that it is discourteous if not even downright mean to...

THE PAST AND THE PRESENT 3/17/2014 11:46 AM

I received a great deal of comment about my last week’s article on the mental and social regression of a large section of Israeli society. Most of the comments were neither complimentary nor critical but were rather requests for more specifics about the need for change in the mindset of much of Orthodox Jewry here in Israel and in the Diaspora as well. Still under the influence of Purim and...

העבר וההווה 3/16/2014 03:56 PM

קיבלתי הרבה הערות על המאמר שלי בשבוע שעבר על הנסיגה המנטאלית והחברתית של חלק גדול בחברה הישראלית. רוב ההערות לא היו מחמאות או ביקורת אלא בקשות לפרטים נוספים על הצורך בשינוי בהלך הרוח של היהדות האורתודוכסית בישראל וגם...

REGRESSING 3/10/2014 12:52 PM

One of the unfortunate delusions that besets both our general and Jewish societies is that we are somehow advancing in an unbroken line upwards towards better times. We gaze triumphantly at all of the great technological gadgets and medical advances that give us such satisfaction and pride. In the Jewish world we revel in the new freedoms that we now routinely expect and enjoy and in our...

UKRAINE AND US 3/3/2014 01:08 PM

Ukraine occupies a very tortured and bloody place in the history of Eastern Europe. Sandwiched between Poland, Austro-Hungary and Russia and being neither Polish nor Russian in language, faith and ethnic culture, it always found itself in a very bad neighborhood. Stalin and Khruschev starved five million Ukrainians to death in the 1920s to enforce their agricultural collectivization program....

אוקראינה ואנחנו 3/2/2014 12:09 PM

אוקראינה תופסת מקום מדמם וכואב מאוד בהיסטוריה של מזרח אירופה. היא שוכנת בין פולין, אוסטרו-הונגריה ורוסיה, אך איננה פולנית או רוסית בשפתה, בדתה או בתרבותה, ולכן תמיד מצאה את עצמה בסביבה בעייתית. סטאלין וחרושצ'וב גזרו מוות...

A SAD, SAD WORLD 2/24/2014 01:28 PM

There is a well-known anecdote/legend that circulates in the Mussar/yeshiva circles about a young yeshiva student who left the yeshiva world and its environment to find his fortune in far distant fields. At the time that he left the yeshiva he had a beard and dressed modestly as was his Jewish tradition. A decade later he met by chance on the street the head of his former yeshiva. The former...

עולם עצוב-עגום 2/24/2014 01:00 PM

יש אגדה/אנקדוטה מפורסמת שהסתובבה בעולם הישיבות ובתנועת המוסר על בחור ישיבה צעיר שעזב את עולם הישיבה ואת סביבתו כדי לחפש את מזלו במחוזות רחוקים. כשעזב את הישיבה, הוא היה מזוקן ולבוש בצניעות בהתאם למסורתו...