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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

OUR MIRACLE MINYAN 3/10/2019 11:31 AM

It is now close to ten months since our congregation initiated a second morning prayer service to begin at 7:45 AM. The main morning prayer service was and is at 6:45 AM. This early time proved very inconvenient to me and to a few others and hence the synagogue graciously allowed for a second morning prayer service later in the morning to accommodate us. Over the time that this second prayer...

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 2/17/2019 06:51 AM

I have often been perplexed by the statement of the rabbis in Avot that says: “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, “ as there is another statement of the rabbis of the Talmud that if one begins to do a good deed, one should persevere to complete it. So, what should our attitude towards unfinished business be? And should a project or endeavor be started when it may be clear...

THE PESSIMISTS AMONGST US 1/27/2019 11:38 AM

Purely on an anecdotal basis, I believe that the diehard secular leftists amongst us are pessimistic people. In a recent article written by the Israeli historian Benny Morris and published in the Haaretz newspaper – where else but there could this be published – he posited that the Jewish state here in the land of Israel is doomed to disappear within the next half century. He based this...

THE CURSE OF HABITUAL POVERTY 1/20/2019 12:15 AM

A recent report broadcast on Israeli radio detailed the fact that approximately 50% of all of those who declared bankruptcy and were eventually freed from the clutches of the creditors to whom they owed money, within a few years found themselves once again heavily in debt and living a life of moderate to abject poverty. The sociologists and economists who prepared this report had many...

TEXTING 1/13/2019 07:48 AM

I must preface this piece of writing by stating that I am a technological dinosaur. I hardly ever use my cell phone except in emergencies and when I am visiting outside of Israel. I do not have a smart phone or even a kosher phone. I just have an old-fashioned cell phone that only makes and receives calls. Additionally, I admit that I never text; I do not know how it is done. And, in any event,...

VICTIMHOOD 1/1/2019 06:00 AM

One of the most treasured psychological disorders that people love to retain for themselves is that of victimhood. Feeling that one is a victim, whether one really is or isn't, gives a person a sense of comfort. It no longer is the fault of the person no matter what that person does and no matter what the results of a person's actions are. It is simply the fact that everyone is against him,...

ELAL 12/23/2018 06:59 AM

Over the past few months I have had the occasion to travel between Israel and the United States a number of times. I do so on my favorite airline, El Al Israel. I enjoy being on El Al because, as their motto states, it makes you feel at home more than any other airline in the world. On El Al everyone is eating kosher, its planes don't fly on the Sabbath and the passengers can get up and pray...

THE PAST AND THE FUTURE 12/16/2018 11:32 AM

Judaism preaches a forward-looking outlook on life and a positive take on the human situation. It also encourages, in fact commands, that even though one is to concentrate on the future, one is never to forget the past. For what happened in the past to a great degree shapes our future and influences it greatly. Much of our current society is solely enmeshed in the present and has little...

EMAILS NOT READ 12/9/2018 09:12 AM

Like most of us today I receive a great deal of email from people and companies whom I do not know and have no connection to. Most of the emails that I receive fall into the category of spam and are rapidly deleted. However, I am a creature of habit and I look at my email inbox regularly, sometimes more than once a day. I am always hopeful that there will be an email of importance, intelligence...

LESS DIFFERENCES, MORE UNITY, A STRONG ORTHODOXY 11/25/2018 06:37 AM

During my recent trip to the United States I had the honor of addressing the student bodies of different Orthodox educational institutions. These institutions were of diverse streams of Orthodoxy. Some refer to themselves as modern Orthodox, while others claim to be more authentic, so to speak, and less open to the culture and ideals of the modern world. At the various venues, some of the...