Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

JUST CANNOT LET GO 6/18/2017 03:51 PM

Ideologies and long-held beliefs die hard, even when they have long been surpassed by events and circumstances. Those who believed in them and promulgated them find it difficult, if not impossible, to adjust to the reality of the current actual situation. There are many examples of this present in today's world. There still are anarchists and Marxists in academia and in other influential...

THE WORLD IS A MESS 6/12/2017 02:54 PM

The political turmoil that is currently developing in major countries of the world only serves to underscore the uncertainty of life and events. Things never turn out the way we envision them to happen. The continuing destabilization of the Trump administration in the United States is deeply troubling and potentially very dangerous. Sidetracked by all sorts of self-inflicted wounds, President...

DREAMS 6/5/2017 05:27 PM

In the English language, the concept of dreams usually has a positive connotation. Negative dreams are call nightmares. In Hebrew, however, the word for dreams is neutral-which connote both positive and happy dreams as well as dreams that are troubling and unpleasant. The subject of dreams is widely discussed in Talmudic and rabbinic writings and in Hebrew literature. In fact there is an entire...

PRIVILEGES AND RIGHTS 5/28/2017 12:06 PM

The nature of human beings is to automatically transfer that which begins as a privilege – an extra perk in life – into a right, something that the person is automatically entitled to have. No one ever wants to experience the loss of the privilege or boon that one once attained. A reduction in salary, loss of a professional or commercial title, the defeats suffered in an election, all of...

SHAVUOT 5/21/2017 12:52 PM

Shavuot is a very difficult holiday to capture emotionally. It is very short in duration – in Israel is only one day while in the Diaspora is two days – and in many respects is over before we can make any valid assessment of its importance and impact. In the Torah itself it appears as an agricultural holiday occurring fifty days after the holiday of national freedom, Pesach. By...

RETURNING HOME 5/14/2017 03:51 PM

I recently returned home to my residence in Jerusalem after an extended stay in the United States. Returning home has always been a difficult and challenging exercise for me. It is not only the enormous amount of mail that seemingly awaits my attention or the frantic messages left on my Israeli phone – most of which are unimportant or now irrelevant – as much as it is the necessary...

RABBI BINYAMIN KAMENETZKY, Z’TL 5/8/2017 12:50 PM

Rabbi Binyamin Kamenetzky passed away last week. He was the eldest son of the great Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky and was a distant relative of our family in previous generations. Presently, a niece of mine is married to one of his sons. But this familial relationship was not the basis of my connection with him and my admiration of his great accomplishments of a long lifetime. He was a member of a...

NAIVETE 5/1/2017 03:10 PM

Ignorance is curable by knowledge, naiveté much less so. The naïve person, in most cases, is well aware of the facts. Nevertheless, he or she refuses to draw the correct and logical conclusion from those facts. Fanciful, wishful thinking clouds one’s rational judgment. It is as though one believes that by wishing so, it will indeed turn out to be so. The Torah bids us to be an optimistic...

FOCUS AND VISION 4/24/2017 01:08 PM

I once heard the Ponevezher Rav, Rabbi Yosef Kahaneman say to a potential donor that he no longer had the ability to sleep normally for a number of hours but he had not lost his ability to continue to dream. I thought about this last week after returning from my visit t to my opthamologist/retinologist who confirmed the fact that my eyesight is no longer what it once was. But I comforted myself...

ISRAEL AT 69 4/20/2017 11:59 AM

The State of Israel celebrates its sixty-ninth Independence Day. Those of us who were alive in 1948 when the state came into being cannot help but be amazed and impressed by our feisty little country and its achievements. Israel has never been as secure and strong as it is today. It has also, at the very same time, never been so vulnerable, demonized and beset with vicious uncompromising enemies...