Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

IMPERFECT DEMOCRACY 7/21/2014 12:54 PM

Winston Churchill once famously said that “democracy is a terrible system of government but it is better than any other system.” The irony of that statement has been borne out by the past events of this last century and by current events. It is true that Hitler ruled as a megalomaniac dictator. However, his rise to power was by democratic means and through electoral success. Once in...

THE TERRIBLE TRUTH 7/14/2014 01:19 PM

In my many decades as a public speaker I have encountered many reactions to my words. Though most people love me and are enthralled by what I have to say, many times people have somehow vehemently disagreed and have informed me of their negative opinions. Sometimes people have even walked out while I was still speaking to express their displeasure. Once or twice I remember being heckled by...

WHO WILL GO FOR US? 7/7/2014 12:26 PM

In the great vision that the prophet Isaiah witnessed in Heaven at the onset of his immortal prophetic career, he heard a voice that asked: “Who shall I send and who will go for us?" That verse in Isaiah has always been a marker for me as to how to judge Jewish leaders and other people of note. There are moments in life and in history when that question reverberates throughout the Jewish...

MODERNITY AND TRADITION 6/30/2014 12:48 PM

The major challenge to all religions and certainly to Judaism over the past two centuries has been the religious reaction to the problems raised by modernity. Modernity encompasses but is not limited to technological progress, a global economy, ideas of personal and national freedom and a search for a more equitable distribution of wealth and well being amongst all human beings. This...

CHRISTIANITY AND ISRAEL 6/23/2014 12:38 PM

It is well known, though hardly discussed in public, that the creation and existence of the State of Israel has created serious theological problems for sections of the Jewish community. But the creation and existence of the State of Israel has created even greater theological and emotional problems for much of the Christian world and many different branches of the overall Christian religion. ...

A GENERATION DEPARTS 6/16/2014 12:43 PM

Time inexorably does its work. King Solomon ruefully pointed out that “Generations come and generations leave and yet the earth itself eternally remains.” The generation that experienced World War II and the Holocaust Jews who lived through it is rapidly departing from our midst. At the seventieth D-Day commemorative ceremonies two weeks ago very few actual participants in that great venture...

תפילה לשלום 6/9/2014 12:37 PM

התפילה הציבורית המדוברת למען שלום ופיוס בין ישראל לרשות הפלשתינית התקיימה השבוע בוותיקן ברומא. האירוע התקיים בחסותו ובמשכנו של האפיפיור פרנסיסקוס, והשתתפו בו מנהיגים דתיים וכמרים בכירים משלוש הדתות המונותיאיסטיות...

PRAYING FOR PEACE 6/9/2014 11:54 AM

The much heralded public prayer for peace and reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority took place this week at the Vatican in Rome. The event was hosted and sponsored by Pope Francis and included the participation of religious leaders and official clergy of the three main monotheistic faiths. But the main stars of the event were Shimon Peres, Mohammed Abbas and naturally, the...

GREAT-GRANDFATHERHOOD 6/2/2014 01:14 PM

After a very long and busy tour of the United States on behalf of Destiny Foundation I was finally scheduled to return to Israel and my beloved congregation. But my granddaughter in New York gave birth to a baby boy a few days before my scheduled departure to Israel. Faced with a difficult decision as to whether to stay for the brit or not, I thought to myself: “There are many rabbis around...

שבועות 5/27/2014 12:43 PM

עם מוזר אנחנו, היהודים. החג הרוחני-לאומי של העם היהודי, כפי שהתורה עצמה אומרת "היום הייתם לעם", הוא חג השבועות, חג של יום אחד (בישראל). על אף שבתורה החג מתואר במונחים של מצוות הבאת הביכורים לבית המקדש בירושלים, המסורת...