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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE 2/7/2016 04:02 PM

Recently, the Secretary General of the United Nations commented, at last, on all of the terrorism against Israeli citizens perpetrated by many Palestinians. In essence, he said that the Israelis had it coming to them since they have been unable to satisfy all of the outrageous demands of the Palestinians that would automatically bring peace and light to our troubled land. Both the Prime...

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...

DENIERS AND IGNORERS 1/11/2016 01:28 PM

I wrote an article last week about the strange Holocaust deniers who exist in the world, inside and outside of our Jewish camp and even in our religious world. The motives that drive such people are diverse and often perverse. They range from the smugness of knowing what God’s plans are and the assurance that those plans must somehow conform to one’s own preconceived assessment as to how...

THE NEWEST HOLOCAUST DENIERS 1/4/2016 01:53 PM

I rarely if ever comment or disagree with pronouncements or public statements of other rabbis. These are people who are driven to publicity and even sensationalism and I never feel inclined to spoil their fun. However, every so often there comes along a rabbinic pronouncement so outrageous and damaging that even my reticent nature forces me to respond. A rabbi is reported in public print and...

LEADERSHIP 1/4/2016 01:25 PM

The fact that the current Torah readings concentrate on the life and career of Moshe as being the all-time supreme leader of the Jewish people, and through them of civilization generally, caused me to give some thought to the trait of leadership. We always think of leadership as a positive trait. Yet, some of the most charismatic and successful leaders of nations and empires have been very bad...

HATERS AND PROBLEMS 12/28/2015 01:43 PM

Hate is a very powerful emotion. It generates skewed vision, violent behavior, and in historical terms, national and personal disasters. There are many causes for hatred. Jealousy, indoctrination, feelings of revenge and suspicions (many times completely unfounded)are just a few. But the most lethal forms of hatred that usually unleash killing and mayhem are those that are religiously or...

ON BEING CURRENTLY RELEVANT 12/21/2015 04:40 PM

The “hot-button” topics in our ever-changing society rarely have much staying power. They seem somehow to fizzle out of their own accord, having made a lot of noise, spawning countless op-ed pontifications but rarely leading to substantive change or benefit in our lives and societies. The main issue facing world Jewry is its shrinking population due to the ravages of assimilation and...

KEEPING OUR DISTANCE 12/14/2015 03:06 PM

It seems fairly obvious to me that American Jewry should stay out of Israeli politics and that Israeli politicians should stay out of the affairs of American Jewry. However, our politicians somehow feel impelled to visit America as often as they can and to act or pontificate on all sorts of matters over which they have little knowledge or deep understanding. We should agree in advance that...