Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Modern history

THE INSCRUTABLE FUTURE 1/14/2018 11:33 AM

Human beings are limited drastically by our inability to forecast and see the future accurately while we are engaged in the present. There is no question that world history would read far differently if only the assumptions of the present could be judged by the realities of the future. In the autumn of 1914 the German army stood at the gates of Paris and the Kaiser believed that his victory was...

IT IS COLD OUTSIDE 1/9/2018 10:43 AM

The well-known axiom about the weather is that everyone talks about it but there is no one that can do anything about it. So this is an opinion article about the weather without any pretense by the writer to be able to do anything about it. We here in Jerusalem have experienced a number of quite cold days, heavy rains and high winds recently. Of course it is winter here and these things are not...

IS JERUSALEM STILL IN PLAY? 1/2/2018 09:11 AM

We have been told time and again over the past 70 years that Jerusalem – its borders and sovereignty – is one of the most contentious issues that will have to be settled before there can be a legitimate peace between Arabs and Jews here in the Land of Israel. In fact, the diplomatic experts have always contended that this issue is so complex that it must be left as the last piece of a...

O! JERUSALEM 12/25/2017 09:41 AM

The Jewish people and the world generally were witness this past week to yet another fulfillment of a biblical prophecy. The prophet said that a day will come when all of the nations – or at least a sizable portion of them – will attack Jerusalem and attempt to dislodge the Jewish people from their capital city and its holy environs. 128 nations voted for a UN General Assembly resolution...

PASSINGS 12/18/2017 10:18 AM

One of the largest funerals in the history of the state of Israel took place last week, with thousands in attendance at the passing of the great scholar and leader Rabbi Aryeh Leib Shteinman. Though he was 104 years old at his passing, his absence was felt by so many simply because of his extraordinary piety, generous personality and visionary leadership. His works of commentary to the Talmud...

JERUSALEM AND CHANUKA 12/11/2017 11:31 AM

The decision by Pres. Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel has been received in dismay and anger by portions of the Arab and Moslem world. This is pretty much what could have been expected since portions of that society have never given up on the idea of the destruction of the Jewish state. However, what is more troubling and disappointing, to me at least, is the...

THE UN AND ISRAEL 12/4/2017 09:47 AM

The state of Israel and the United Nations have a long and tortured history in dealing one with the other. Some seventy years ago the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution that became the basis in international terms for the creation of Israel. The United Nations thereby became the godfather of the Jewish state. It was an unlikely combination of diplomacy and...

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....

ONE-HUNDRED YEARS OF COMMUNIST RULE 11/12/2017 12:33 PM

1917 was a year of momentous events for the world and for the Jewish people. It was the year when the Balfour Declaration was issued by Great Britain and the year of America’s entry into World War I. It was also the year that the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia and created the first Communist government and society in the world. Communism was messianic vision incarnate. It was the...

A CENTURY OF BALFOUR 11/6/2017 09:56 AM

In November 1917, amidst the then stalemate and endless carnage of the Great War –World War I – the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour sent a letter to Lord Rothschild in London offering official governmental support for the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. This letter has become enshrined in Jewish history as the Balfour Declaration. This was he first...