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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Spirituality

LEAP YEAR 2/2/2014 10:05 PM

This year on the Jewish calendar, 5774, is a leap year. In terms of the Jewish calendar this means that it is a thirteen-month year instead of the usual twelve-month year. This anomaly is accomplished by repeating the month of Adar twice. In the secular calendar every fourth year is also called a leap year. That leap year is identified by having the month of February be twenty-nine days long...

RABBIS AND SAVANTS 1/27/2014 11:06 AM

There was a long and critical article that appeared this past week in one of the Hebrew newspapers here in Israel concerning the role of rabbis in society. There is no question that the role of most rabbis in the United States is far different than what is currently the case in Israeli society. In the United States the rabbi is a far more personal figure. He is a teacher, speaker and...

REQUIEM FOR A MOVEMENT 1/21/2014 10:25 AM

In an article that appeared two months ago in the Jewish Review of Books, Daniel Gordis wrote about the sorry state of the Conservative movement in the current American Jewish scene. The Pew Report documented, with a great body of anecdotal evidence, the demise of this once most numerous and powerful movement. Gordis himself is the scion of a distinguished rabbinical family that exercised...

רוחניות 11/11/2013 12:54 PM

הארגון שמתיימר לייצג את יהדות ארה"ב נפגש השבוע באסיפה הכללית השנתית שלו. פעם בחמש שנים האסיפה הזאת מתקיימת בירושלים, ובארבע השנים האחרות בערים שונות באמריקה. לאור העובדה שחלק ניכר מהחברה היהודית באמריקה נמצא במצב של...

YOM KIPPUR 9/9/2013 12:43 PM

Yom Kippur is not only the day of holiness and forgiveness of sin – it is also the great day of hope and optimism. To a great extent each of us is born anew on that day. Each one of us has an opportunity to reexamine ourselves. Though we spend much of our prayer time admitting our sins, failures and shortcomings, we do so confident that these errors will be erased in God’s compassion for His...

LOOKING AHEAD 9/2/2013 02:13 PM

The advent of the new year always occasions within us the urge to look and plan ahead. I spent some time this past week filling in my calendar for 5774 with commitments made and projects planned for the coming good and blessed new year. Yet there always hovers over us the uncertainty, which is the basic stuff of life itself, of the unknown future that lurks ahead. We are all aware that man...

PRAYERS – ANSWERED AND UNANSWERED 8/4/2013 09:02 AM

Prayer, in its most formal sense, comprises an important part of daily Jewish life and ritual. Daily morning, afternoon and evening services are the staple rhythm of activities in every synagogue and home throughout the Jewish world. There are many dimensions of prayer in Jewish tradition and thought. And perhaps no subject has been explained and scrutinized as closely in the writings of the...

JEWISH REVENGE 5/27/2013 11:20 AM

More than seventy years have passed since the onset of the Holocaust and the destruction of most of the Jews of Europe. Any objective observer will have to agree that almost all of the perpetrators, planners and collaborators who participated in that heinous stain on the civilization and culture of the Western world were never punished for their behavior and crimes. Even those who were tried...

בין שני אחים 2/25/2013 01:24 PM

במסעי האחרון לארצות הברית, נאלצנו אשתי ואני כמה וכמה פעמים להיעזר בשירות הסעות פרטי. אשתי, בהיותה אדם הרבה יותר ידידותי ובהחלט הרבה יותר חברותי ממני, הצליחה בכל פעם לשמוע את סיפור החיים המלא של הנהגים שהסיעו אותנו ליעד...

A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS 2/25/2013 01:23 PM

On my recent trip to the United States my wife and I had, on a number of occasions, to use the services of a private car service. My wife, being a much friendlier and decidedly more social person than I am, was successful every time in eliciting the full life story of each of the drivers who drove us to our requested destination. All of the drivers were courteous, respectful and skilled at their...