Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

In My Opinion

DIFFICULT DECISIONS 12/5/2016 03:32 PM

Part of the tradition of rabbinic jurisprudence is that courts of law should attempt at almost all costs to arrive at a compromise/arbitration decision rather than attempt to enforce the letter of the law. This is undoubtedly because of the fact that true justice is often beyond the abilities and capabilities of ordinary humans. In all major decisions in life there are always, so to speak,...

SUPPLY AND DEMAND 11/28/2016 12:54 PM

As we all have been taught in our study of elementary economics, prices and values are established by the law of supply and demand. In theory, the greater the supply, the lower the price. We are witness to this fact of commerce in the current, still relatively inexpensive price of oil, due to the glut of all oil available on the world market. This rule of commerce – supply and demand –...

LOOKING AT GENERATIONS 11/20/2016 02:10 PM

On my recent visit to America I availed myself of the opportunity to visit with many of my grandchildren and great grandchildren. The great grandchildren are still mainly too young to recognize me and appreciate my connection to them. As one of them so succinctly put it when he was informed that I was his zaydie: “But I already have two zaidies!” So the experience and its meaning currently is...

UNPOPULAR LEADERS 11/13/2016 01:05 PM

There have been many instances in human history when people were not universally popular with their subjects and citizens. No ruler has ever had unanimous popularity and approval – witness Moshe and Korach, for example – but like everything else in life, popularity is never absolute but only relative. In elections a candidate that achieves a fifty-five percent majority is deemed to have...

THAT IS WHAT IT IS 11/7/2016 03:39 PM

There is a great mantra that is repeated very often in Israeli society that basically states “That is what it is.” Basically it is a stoic observation of the never-ending problems, challenges, disappointments and frustrations of life. Many if not even most of these issues are far beyond one’s ability to change or influence. That fact many times serves to make those problems and frustrations...

A TALE OF TWO SEATS 10/31/2016 01:41 PM

I recently flew to the United States from Israel. For various undoubtedly good and sundry reasons that I was unaware of – though many of my fellow passengers who “know” everything about everything had various and conflicting stories as to the cause – El Al was flying a Portuguese airplane and crew on this flight. The airplane was not the one I was familiar with and my seat though being in...

DOING BETTER 10/26/2016 02:15 PM

In a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal one of the opinion writers for that esteemed newspaper wrote a thoughtful piece about his feelings as he embarked on the annual fast day of holiness. The main thrust of his article was that American society can and should do better. It should produce better candidates for the presidency, it should be a more robust society, it should be...

SUCCOT 10/10/2016 01:11 PM

The festival of Succot marks the culmination, so to speak, of the holy month of Tishrei. Though all of the festivals of the Jewish year retain a solemnity regarding their observance, the festival of Succot is marked as being a time of joy and celebration. The natural beauty of the holiday, as it is accompanied by the climate and agricultural bounty of the Land of Israel, enhances the celebration...

A NEW BEGINNING 10/5/2016 01:42 PM

This season of the year always signals the start of a new beginning. In its most limited sense, this new beginning is in terms of the Jewish calendar year. However, all of us sense that the new beginning is much more than just purchasing a new calendar. We desperately seek a truly fresh start, an opportunity to discard past errors and their consequences and to move from the sometimes darkness of...

ROSH HASHANAH 9/26/2016 12:02 PM

The past year has passed rather quickly. As one thankfully becomes older, time seems to start racing by. Maybe that is part of what Einstein meant when he declared that time is relative. It certainly is relative to each individual person and to each differing circumstance and experience in life. There are long days and shorter ones depending on the occurrences in that twenty-four hour period of...