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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Ethics

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...

THINKING ABOUT WRITING 5/12/2019 12:53 PM

Since I wish to present an opinion article to you, my beloved and loyal readers, on a weekly basis, I am always there thinking about what to write. This is a very taxing experience because thinking requires focus and attention and at my stage of life neither of these attributes is found in abundance any longer. But I continue to think daily about what I want to say and how I want to say it, and...

THE FORCE OF INDIVIDUALS 4/28/2019 01:13 PM

Part of the philosophy of the left, especially of socialism and communism, is to denigrate the role of individuals and their choices in influencing history and events and to see the human story rather in terms of historic, economic and political forces. I recently watched a debate that was recorded in a documentary film about the causes of the First World War. Almost all the professors...

THE PASSING SCENE 3/31/2019 10:49 AM

I have very wonderful friends who are kind enough to pick me up in their automobiles and drive me to the synagogue during the week. They are very punctual and the time that is set for pick up is almost always exactly observed. Because of this, I go down to the corner of my street and wait there at least 10 minutes before the appointed time because I enjoy the scene which is never the same and...

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...