Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

AVOT 5/13/2018 09:57 AM

Both the Mishnah and Talmud are unique in their style of composition for in effect it allows the students thousands of years later to feel as though they have entered into that ancient study hall to hear the discussion of the scholars of Israel. Though most of the text of the Mishnah covers matters of law, ritual, commandments and observances, the tractate called Avot deals almost exclusively...

BECHUKOTAI 5/6/2018 10:54 AM

The Torah reading of this week concludes the book of Vayikra. As is obvious to all who study this book, it is primarily concerned with laws and observances and the details connected to those Divine commandments. Even though the Torah had intimated previously that the observance of these commandments was not a matter of pure recommendation or suggestion but that they were mandatory conditions for...

DAYS IN MAY 5/6/2018 10:49 AM

There are times in life that one is able to see the beginning and end of an idea or movement in its entirety. When I was a child I remember vividly that the first day of May was called May Day and was the day of celebration of the proletariat Left. Fiery speeches, and loud bands, tens of thousands of marchers waving red flags all dominated the media and street of the day. The mood of the day...

HERE AND THERE 4/25/2018 12:38 PM

A very dear friend of mine travels extensively several times a year between his family in Europe and his permanent home in Israel. He often tells me that when he is there he wishes to be here and when he was here he often wishes to be there. I am somewhat in the same situation, so I readily can identify with that sort of emotion. But I check myself by the realization that this is a true...

EVER YOUNG 4/9/2018 12:40 PM

One of the great impossibilities of the human condition is to be blessed with old age and many years and yet somehow to remain an essentially young and energetic person in mind, body and spirit. This is not only true in the case of individual people, but it applies to even nations and empires. Age takes its toll in a universal and indiscriminate fashion. Just look at Europe today. It is old...

IT’S THE ZHIDS 3/12/2018 11:28 AM

One of the more uncanny peculiarities in human history has been that whenever a sinister unexplained event in the world occurs, the Jews are immediately sought out as the scapegoats and the cause of the event. Unfortunately there is a very long and bitter history to this phenomenon. It is so deeply ingrained in parts of the non-Jewish world that even in our time, despite a long history and in the...

TOUGH TIMES 2/11/2018 11:16 AM

Unfortunately, it seems that things are heating up in our part of the world again. An Iranian pilotless drone invaded Israeli airspace and was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter. Israel then mounted an attack against anti-aircraft facilities in Syria and during that operation an Israeli fighter jet was shot down. The two crewmembers of the downed jet were able to eject from the plane and...

TELLING THE TRUTH 11/27/2017 01:56 PM

Often times, if not even always, telling the truth is a painful experience both for the teller and for the listener. Our entire life is wrapped up in avoiding painful truths. And even if we are aware of them, not communicating them to others because that will make us very unpopular is also stressful. The rabbis of the Talmud called this world “a world of falsehood.” This is so ingrained...

BALANCE 11/20/2017 11:29 AM

As I thankfully and somewhat less then gracefully age, my sense of physical balance has weakened, gradually but inexorably. When one has imperfect physical balance one is markedly more prone to fall, and all falls carry unknown consequences with them. There are physical supports such as canes and walkers that are recommended for use and in many cases they are truly mandatory for safe living....

DIFFERENCES 10/22/2017 01:53 PM

The human race is notable for its similarities and differences. All human beings are alike basically but each and every one of us is different. This is a fact of human life yet in spite, the nature of human beings is to focus and concentrate on the differences between us and to ignore the basic similarities. Recently, I was sitting in the waiting area of a busy airport watching the world...