Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

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...

THE PALESTINIAN REFUGEES 1/12/2015 01:37 PM

One of the tragic consequences of war is that thousands and perhaps even millions of civilians are displaced, uprooted from their homes and lives and have involuntarily acquired the unwanted distinction of becoming refugees. Yet, in most instances regarding refugees after the wars of the twentieth century, these refugees eventually found new homes and new lives – many times better homes and...

LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD 1/5/2015 03:06 PM

We currently find ourselves at the beginning of the month of January, which is the first month of the secular year. January derives its name from the pagan god Janus, who was given two faces, one looking in one direction and the other in the opposite direction. It became the symbol of the past and the future, the old year and the new one, of looking back and looking ahead at the same time. ...

UPS AND DOWNS 12/29/2014 11:19 AM

Though every election in Israel is full of surprises, because we are a restless and constantly dissatisfied people there is a pattern that has emerged from all of the previous nineteen elections that have bedeviled us over the past sixty-six years. The pattern includes constant fragmentation of existing parties as personal ambition and rigid ideology overtake practical and achievable goals. ...

EUROPE IS GONE 12/24/2014 11:42 AM

What can one say about Europe? I imagine that if one wants to be bitterly truthful then one could easily say that Hitler has in effect triumphed. He branded the Jews as the root of all troubles and proclaimed that the “final” and only solution to the “Jewish problem” was to eradicate all Jews from the face of the earth. And as we all know, he followed through on his genocidal program. ...

CHESS MASTERS 12/15/2014 02:12 PM

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, the noted educator, author and Talmudist recently wrote a lengthy article in one of the religiously oriented newspapers here in Israel about the problems of curriculum as it currently exists in Israeli Orthodox Jewish schools - and worldwide. He decried what he considered to be the over-emphasis and even exclusivity of the study of Talmud, to the exception of all other...

LOOSE CHANGE 12/8/2014 01:13 PM

One of the most clichéd and oft-used words that mark election campaigns, such as the one we are now beginning to undergo here in Israel, is “change.” One of the basic human drives is to achieve change for the better in one's personal life and in the national life of the country where one resides. Barack Obama was elected president of the United States on the promise of change. Whether...

שינוי קל 12/7/2014 12:09 PM

אחת המילים השכיחות ביותר בקלישאות שנשמעות במערכות בחירות, כמו זאת שאנחנו נמצאים בפתחה כאן, בישראל, היא "שינוי". אחד הדחפים הבסיסיים ביותר של האדם הוא לחולל שינוי לטובה בחייו האישיים וגם בחיים הלאומיים של הארץ שבה הוא...

THE GIFT OF GENERATIONS 12/1/2014 12:23 PM

The Lord blessed me last week with the birth of a great-grandson. As I began writing this article I almost slipped and wrote “another” great-grandson. I have been blessed many times over with becoming a great-grandfather. But I caught myself and did not write “another” great-grandchild because the birth of every great-grandchild is unique and special. I come from a generation where I and...