Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Israel/ Zionism

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...

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...

DISTRACTIONS AND DIVERSIONS 9/5/2017 12:05 PM

We are all aware that our best laid plans and visions of our future are upset when life itself intervenes. We are always blindsided by unforeseen events. We are prone to be distracted and diverted by rather petty, small and even inconsequential events. The great issues that face and even bedevil the Jewish people and the Jewish state rarely receive the attention that they obviously deserve. A...

PEOPLE 8/13/2017 11:02 AM

Standing on the corner of two major thoroughfares in midtown Manhattan recently I was struck by the number and variety of people walking past. There were hordes of them all purposefully heading towards some appointed place and event. They were a composite of all of humanity, representing every color of human skin, babel of languages, all social strata, faiths and ethnic origins. When I was a...

HISTORIC TRUTHS 8/6/2017 08:43 AM

The Jews cannot agree among themselves regarding propriety of place and behavior at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Muslims and Jews cannot agree about security measures necessary on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, let alone agree about the ownership and control of the area itself. On the surface, one may be led to believe that these are arguments about turf and territory, conflicting power and...

JUST CANNOT LET GO 6/18/2017 12:51 PM

Ideologies and long-held beliefs die hard, even when they have long been surpassed by events and circumstances. Those who believed in them and promulgated them find it difficult, if not impossible, to adjust to the reality of the current actual situation. There are many examples of this present in today's world. There still are anarchists and Marxists in academia and in other influential...

DREAMS 6/5/2017 02:27 PM

In the English language, the concept of dreams usually has a positive connotation. Negative dreams are call nightmares. In Hebrew, however, the word for dreams is neutral-which connote both positive and happy dreams as well as dreams that are troubling and unpleasant. The subject of dreams is widely discussed in Talmudic and rabbinic writings and in Hebrew literature. In fact there is an entire...

NAIVETE 5/1/2017 12:10 PM

Ignorance is curable by knowledge, naiveté much less so. The naïve person, in most cases, is well aware of the facts. Nevertheless, he or she refuses to draw the correct and logical conclusion from those facts. Fanciful, wishful thinking clouds one’s rational judgment. It is as though one believes that by wishing so, it will indeed turn out to be so. The Torah bids us to be an optimistic...

ISRAEL AT 69 4/20/2017 08:59 AM

The State of Israel celebrates its sixty-ninth Independence Day. Those of us who were alive in 1948 when the state came into being cannot help but be amazed and impressed by our feisty little country and its achievements. Israel has never been as secure and strong as it is today. It has also, at the very same time, never been so vulnerable, demonized and beset with vicious uncompromising enemies...