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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

PEOPLE 7/11/2021 09:37 AM

It has often been stated that no individual person is indispensable. In spite of all rumors to the contrary, the world continues to go on apace even after we have departed from the scene. Yet, there is an important caveat to this corollary. It is the statement that though no one is indispensable, and no one is really replaceable either. Even though we may think of ourselves as mere cogs in the...

ON BECOMING A PROPHET 7/4/2021 12:00 AM

Lately, I realize that I am reaching a new status and level in life. I receive calls and requests daily from people whom I do not know, who apparently have no relationship to me, and who wish to hold conversations with me and seek my advice. Naturally, I am very flattered that somehow people both here in Israel, and in the English-speaking diaspora feel that I could be of help to them. The truth...

FAILURE 6/13/2021 12:29 AM

Thomas Sowell is one of the most well-known thinkers, social commentators and economists in the United States. He has a worldwide reputation, is an African American, a former Harvard Marxist, a man of wit and charm and of brilliant insights into life, society, and people. He is currently 90 years old. For almost the last 70 years since his disillusionment with Marxism, he has been one of the...

A LOST CUSTOM 5/9/2021 12:00 AM

For most of my life, I was accustomed to visiting people in their homes and in receiving visitors in my own home. My generation communicated with each other by letter correspondence or face-to-face personal visits. I remember as a child how the colleagues and friends of my father and mother would come to visit us in our home on long Friday night winters in Chicago and how we would reciprocate. ...

TRAGEDIES 5/2/2021 11:46 AM

It seems that, in spite of the best efforts of human beings and societies, tragedies are unavoidable in the regular course of human existence. The tragedy that we in Israel suffered on Lag B'Omer is still too fresh and the wound is too open to be able to assess it properly. There will be the commissions of inquiry, recommendations as to future security and crowd control, as well as a frenzied...

MUTATIONS 1/31/2021 12:43 PM

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, I am certain that all of us have become knowledgeable regarding the subject of mutations. It seems that all viruses regularly mutate in order to be able to survive. The efforts of epidemiologists are intended to stay ahead of the curve, anticipate the mutation, and make certain that the preventive vaccine is operative even against the new form of the virus...

THE ANTI-HERO 1/24/2021 12:39 PM

Four years ago, when Donald Trump was unexpectedly elected and became the President of the United States, I wrote a column for my monthly newsletter, the Wein Press, about that event. I have never claimed the ability to predict events, or to be prophetic about the faith of people or even nations. However, the rabbis in the Talmud have taught us that though prophecy was removed from humans, a...

MEMORIES 11/22/2020 01:50 PM

The human brain is an unbelievably complex organ. It houses millions of facts, of data and information. It also is the storehouse of human memories. In fact, everything that has ever been said or done by any individual is, somehow, stored and remembered by the individual’s brain. Most of the time, we can control which memories we wish to bring to the fore, and which events and conversations we...

INHERITANCE AND LEGACY 11/1/2020 10:50 AM

The nature of people, especially as we grow older, is to think about our influence on the future, when we are freed from the bondage of the challenges and problems of this world. We all wish to live beyond the grave; that is part of our innate drive for immortality and eternity. Many try as hard as they can to believe that this world is all that we will experience and that, therefore, it is all...

COMMON SENSE 8/9/2020 12:32 AM

One of the problems of the concept of common sense is that it is really an oxymoron. Sense is anything but common in human affairs and amongst human beings. King Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, devotes much of its contents explaining that fools in this world far outnumber those that are wise and sensible. There are many things in life that should be self-evident to anyone that bothers to...