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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Spirituality

FAKE RELIGION 7/30/2017 04:02 PM

One of the many troublesome trends existing in our societies is the elevation of issues that are basically political and even monetary, to the level of religious faith and practice. The current struggle, mainly in the media and not so much on the ground itself, regarding the installation of metal detectors on the Temple Mount, is an example of making a security and political issue into a matter...

DISASTER AND REBIRTH 7/23/2017 01:10 PM

The remarkable lesson of the Jewish commemoration of the destruction of our Temples many centuries ago is not only that this commemoration continues to pain us but that, ironically, it almost unexpectedly provides us with hope and fortitude for a brighter future. This fact is emphasized to us in the statement of the Talmud that the time of the Messiah began on the day that the Temples were...

ON BEING A SKEPTIC 7/9/2017 02:24 PM

One of the great challenges in life is retaining belief and optimism regarding humans when one is, in one's heart of hearts, a confirmed skeptic. This challenge is corroborated for us by King Solomon, considered the wisest of all humans, in his monumental work, the book of Kohelet. There is a great deal of difference between realism and skepticism on one hand, and pessimism and depression on the...

NO SERVICE 3/27/2017 02:40 PM

On my recent trip to America I encountered great difficulty with my mobile phone. It kept on telling me that it could not complete the calls I was attempting to make because there was “no service.” This happened at numerous locations throughout my American stay, frustrating me greatly. I was hooked up to a major American telecom provider and could not understand why I was encountering this...

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...

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...

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...

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...

CAUSE AND EFFECT 6/26/2016 12:38 AM

An article entitled: “What’s wrong with Conservative Judaism?” appeared in a recent issue of the Jerusalem Report magazine. This article was authored by Myron M. Fenster, the Rabbi Emeritus of the Shelter Rock Jewish Center of Roslyn, New York, a leading Conservative congregation. As the title of the article indicates, the movement is in trouble due to a dramatic decrease in its number of...

BETTER TIMES 3/6/2016 01:07 AM

One of the more memorable sentences in modern English literature is: “It was the best of all times; it was the worst of all times.” This view of life and current society is a variant on the theme of the half empty, half-full glass conundrum. In effect, there are always opposing views as to the state of humanity, society and for us, the Jewish people the world over, in any given generation. In...