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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

GRIDLOCK 11/10/2019 12:15 PM

One of the most dreaded situations motorists are forced to face is that of complete gridlock. This usually occurs when there is very heavy traffic, with the inherent frustration involved in trying to move forward, when motorists find themselves in the middle of the road with traffic blocked on their left and right. This inevitably leads to loud honking from all sides and only further frustrates...

OPTIMISM 11/3/2019 02:07 PM

One of the hallmark traits of Judaism is a spirit of optimism. Since oftentimes optimism flies in the face of reality and the factual situations we face, like all human traits, it is to be applied judiciously, in moderation and with a great deal of good common sense. Nevertheless, optimism is a permanent state of mind. Even in dark moments when our optimistic mood and hopes are dashed, optimism...

IT LOOKS GOOD 10/20/2019 11:51 AM

We are all aware that looks can be quite deceiving. When the Torah describes for us the concept of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, it refers to it as being most desirous and pleasant in the eyes of our mother Eve. As we all know, this became the source of human mortality and the bitter sin that led to expulsion from Paradise. So, the lesson should be obvious that not everything that looks...

BEING GOOD 9/29/2019 12:04 PM

We are currently in a period of repentance and thoughtful analysis of our lives and deeds. We tend to think this applies to our behavior and actions, to what we have or haven’t done, and to pledge ourselves to better conduct. This is partially true, but I feel that there is a very important point that is especially crucial in current society and especially regarding the family today. We...

THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL 9/15/2019 12:54 PM

Historians over the past few centuries have been heavily influenced by a Marxist view of the world and of human events. In this understanding of the past, present and future, great external forces such as the competition of the classes, stages of economic development and powerful historical and sociological forces somehow determine human behavior and explain human history as well as current...

A PARKING SPACE 8/26/2019 09:48 AM

Some people asked me – well, not too many people, in fact only a very few – how do I come up with topics to write about every week. And looking back at the situation, I must admit that I have been doing so for decades. So, it is reasonable to think that there really is nothing new that I could write about. But human society and individuals are so fascinating that there always is something...

GENERATIONAL CONVERSATION 8/11/2019 11:55 AM

We are all aware that we will never again be as smart, perceptive, clever and knowledgeable as we were when we were 16 years old. There is no question that from that point of life onwards the trajectory is always downhill. Nevertheless, there is a great deal to be said for age and experience and for the tempering of our views and opinions by the realities of life. One of the omnipresent...

SECULAR TYRANNY 7/29/2019 11:27 AM

The rabbis of the Talmud were perceptive and insightful judges of the human character and its failings and foibles. One insightful comment is that when one wishes to discredit someone else, one usually does so by accusing the other of the failing of which the accuser is guilty. In our present society which, in many parts of the world and especially in Europe, and only somewhat less so here in...

A CHILDLESS SOCIETY 7/24/2019 10:10 AM

One of the many consequences, perhaps an unintended one of the current progressive, leftist, socialist societies that comprise Europe and other places on the globe, and is visibly present in American society as well, is that of the disappearance of the importance of having children. Europe generally is suffering from a decline in its indigenous population and of its growth in terms of...

GREAT ISSUES. PERSONAL MOTIVES 6/11/2019 12:05 PM

I rarely if ever write about politics per se. All politics is messy and borders upon reviewing the worst instincts that exist within human behavior. I am not interested in washing dirty linen in public, and though I believe in democracy and its institutions and procedures, I am oftentimes unable to reconcile myself to the manner in which democratic elections or the legislative and executive...