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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

AN ADDICTION CURED 1/17/2021 05:14 PM

For the first few decades of my sojourn here in Jerusalem, I was absolutely addicted to hearing the news seven or eight times a day. Since this included the time of the two intifadas, the two Gaza wars, numerous Israeli elections, American political upheavals, and other assorted interesting events, I did not feel that I was necessarily overdoing it. During the rest of the day. I often wondered...

MY BOOK LIBRARY 1/11/2021 08:01 AM

An acquaintance of mine delivered a package to me in my apartment. He noticed that the apartment is full bookcases in almost every room. He knows that my eyesight no longer allows me to read or study from books, so he asked me why I have not yet begun to dispose of my library, since it is of little practical value to me now. I thanked him for his comments and suggestion, but I was not really...

TAKING A SHOT 1/3/2021 09:49 AM

There is no doubt that in certain matters and issues the state of Israel is really on the cutting edge of progress and achievement. Our health system here in Israel is burdened by a great deal of bureaucracy, but when the health system and the government agree that it should work quickly and efficiently on behalf of those who are in need, it does so. When the government announced that the...

STORIES 12/28/2020 10:55 AM

One of the most fundamental lessons in public speaking is the ability, or rather the necessity, of the speaker to tell a story to illustrate the message that is being delivered. People remember stories much longer and with much greater nostalgia than learned interpretations and abstract thoughts and ideas. And if the story is somehow humorous – and the only humor that is acceptable in such...

SHABBAT SHOES 12/20/2020 12:09 AM

When I was growing up in Chicago, a long time ago, most Jewish families were still living under the shadow of the Depression. As such, when I was young, I always had only one pair of shoes, which I wore on weekdays, Shabbat, holidays, and even special family occasions, until they wore out. Then, I got another pair of shoes. By the time that my children were born and required shoes, the...

THE LOST COMPUTER FILE 11/29/2020 11:37 AM

Computers are a wonderful invention. In our current world, it is impossible to think how we would function without them. Even though until a little over a half-century ago we apparently did function very well without them, today it is unthinkable to think that we could somehow be productive and efficient without computers. Such is the nature of technological progress, that it not only makes past...

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...

JEWISH GROWTH 11/15/2020 11:52 AM

Numerically, the Jewish people are only an exceedingly small part of humanity. Even at the height of the most optimistic of surveys, we were and are a small constituent in the overall picture of the numbers of humans who inhabit this planet. This is always been so, for the Torah itself guaranteed that we would be the least numerous amongst nations. Nevertheless, at the very same time, we...

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES 11/8/2020 11:43 AM

Unintended consequences are well-known and ubiquitous regarding many areas of human life. It is especially true regarding legislative matters which are adopted by parliaments and congresses. No matter how carefully the law is adopted and written, there always are results that are not foreseen in that piece of legislation. Most of the time these consequences are unfortunately of a negative...

A TALE OF TWO WEDDINGS 10/25/2020 12:21 PM

Almost a quarter of a century ago when I first settled permanently here in Jerusalem, I was invited to a wedding of a distant cousin of mine whom I had never really met but somehow he had determined that we were related. I always had a strong sense of family and even though I knew that I would not know anyone attending that wedding – not even my distant cousin whom I would not be able to...