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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

SPRINGTIME 3/20/2017 05:14 PM

Those of us who are living in the northern hemisphere of our globe are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of springtime and the end of the winter weather woes. Here in Israel we had a fairly normal winter with a decent amount of rain and a few cold spells. In the main however it was an unremarkable winter, weather wise. Nevertheless, winter is winter and I for one am anxiously and excitedly...

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE 3/13/2017 01:25 PM

I recently was on the tour of the Galilee region here in Israel. The tour stopped for a visit in the town of Rosh Pina. Because of cars parked on both sides of the street, the bus was unable to negotiate and brings us to the top of the hill where the walking tour would begin. Since I had visited Rosh Pina a number of times previously, I decided that I would remain on the bus instead of climbing...

PURIM 3/6/2017 01:59 PM

The Megillah of Esther itself tells us that the memory and commemoration of the days of Purim will continue until eternity and never disappear from Jewish life. Extraordinarily, the Talmud expands this statement to mean that even at the end of days when the other commandments of the Torah may no longer be necessary because of the exalted state of spirituality within the Jewish nation and mankind...

A LITTLE TOO JEWISH 2/27/2017 02:27 PM

There were a number of articles written here in the Israeli newspapers about the determined opposition of Reform in America to the appointment of David Friedman as the American ambassador to Israel. The shameful behavior of a number of Jews at the Senate confirmation hearing of Friedman – shofar blowing and all – only points out the great fault line that exists in American Jewish society...

LOST KEYS 2/20/2017 02:16 PM

A short time ago I was attempting to lock the gates that provide entry into my apartment from the elevator. With my current usual fumbling self, the keys – precious as they are – fell from my hand. There is a very small opening between the edge of the elevator and floor of my apartment, so small that one hardly takes notice of it. Nevertheless, my keys found that aperture and with a thud came...

PASSWORDS 2/15/2017 02:30 PM

In a moment of extreme foolishness I recently attempted to pay a credit card bill online through my computer. People of my generation should avoid such risky and dangerous behavior. The computer arrogantly demanded a password in order to log into my account. It also condescendingly informed me that I already had a password and that I should really type it in to get started paying my bill. I...

SHABBAT FOOD 2/6/2017 03:10 PM

One of the many distinctive features about the holy day of Shabbat is its full menu. This naturally varies among the different ethnic groups that comprise the Jewish people. As a descendant of Lithuanian Eastern European Jews, I actually associate Shabbat with gefilte fish, chicken soup and hot cholent. Now that may not have been the menu for Jews in Yemen or in Iraq, and I readily acknowledge...

THE REAL TEST 1/30/2017 04:32 PM

Jewish history has a relatively simple test to determine the survival of movements, ideas and agendas that constantly crop up in Jewish society. That test is one of generational implications. Will those movements, ideas and agendas produce grandchildren and great-grandchildren that will be loyal to those movements and perpetuate them in the future? Because the results of this test cannot be...

BEDFELLOWS 1/23/2017 12:35 PM

A recent issue of a local newspaper here in Israel had on its front page a photograph of the Pope of Rome together with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Mohammed Abbas, at the ceremony of the dedication of the Palestinian Embassy at the Vatican and its recognition as a state by the Holy See. Now the cynics may be forgiven for captioning that picture as one non-state establishing...

OPTIMISM 1/16/2017 04:12 PM

It seems that the intrinsic nature of human beings is to be optimistic about the future and about life generally. This is a very strange phenomenon since it flies in the face of all of human experience and seeming reality. We are all aware that the rule, that whatever can go wrong will eventually go wrong, has had very few exceptions in human history. Therefore, foreign policy or military...