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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

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...

WEIGHTY MATTERS 3/3/2019 10:17 AM

Some time ago I was standing in a long line before the check-in counter at an airport in the United States. There was quite a delay in reaching that counter because a young woman was having a great difficulty because her suitcase was overweight. The airlines are very strict in enforcing weight limits on luggage, especially because charging for luggage and overcharging for overweight luggage has...

MORNING NOISES 2/24/2019 06:30 AM

For six days a week here in my neighborhood in Jerusalem it is impossible for one to reasonably expect to sleep late in the morning. I usually rise at about 6 AM and I am awakened by all sorts of sounds from the outside world that drift into my bedroom. First, the birds start chirping away loudly and persistently well before the actual sunrise. In my neighborhood there are several woodpeckers...

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 2/17/2019 06:51 AM

I have often been perplexed by the statement of the rabbis in Avot that says: “It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, “ as there is another statement of the rabbis of the Talmud that if one begins to do a good deed, one should persevere to complete it. So, what should our attitude towards unfinished business be? And should a project or endeavor be started when it may be clear...

THE LOST ESSAY 2/4/2019 12:35 PM

I usually invest time thinking about these weekly essays that I write before actually writing them. It is not always easy to come up with a subject that really interests me and if it does not interest me, I do not expect that it will interest any of my readers. Just a few days ago when I was preparing to go to sleep for the night a brilliant idea struck me as to an essay that I thought would...

TEXTING 1/13/2019 07:48 AM

I must preface this piece of writing by stating that I am a technological dinosaur. I hardly ever use my cell phone except in emergencies and when I am visiting outside of Israel. I do not have a smart phone or even a kosher phone. I just have an old-fashioned cell phone that only makes and receives calls. Additionally, I admit that I never text; I do not know how it is done. And, in any event,...

ELAL 12/23/2018 06:59 AM

Over the past few months I have had the occasion to travel between Israel and the United States a number of times. I do so on my favorite airline, El Al Israel. I enjoy being on El Al because, as their motto states, it makes you feel at home more than any other airline in the world. On El Al everyone is eating kosher, its planes don't fly on the Sabbath and the passengers can get up and pray...

THE PAST AND THE FUTURE 12/16/2018 11:32 AM

Judaism preaches a forward-looking outlook on life and a positive take on the human situation. It also encourages, in fact commands, that even though one is to concentrate on the future, one is never to forget the past. For what happened in the past to a great degree shapes our future and influences it greatly. Much of our current society is solely enmeshed in the present and has little...

EMAILS NOT READ 12/9/2018 09:12 AM

Like most of us today I receive a great deal of email from people and companies whom I do not know and have no connection to. Most of the emails that I receive fall into the category of spam and are rapidly deleted. However, I am a creature of habit and I look at my email inbox regularly, sometimes more than once a day. I am always hopeful that there will be an email of importance, intelligence...