Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

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...

LESS DIFFERENCES, MORE UNITY, A STRONG ORTHODOXY 11/25/2018 06:37 AM

During my recent trip to the United States I had the honor of addressing the student bodies of different Orthodox educational institutions. These institutions were of diverse streams of Orthodoxy. Some refer to themselves as modern Orthodox, while others claim to be more authentic, so to speak, and less open to the culture and ideals of the modern world. At the various venues, some of the...

FAME 11/4/2018 06:00 AM

As the saying goes, fame is fleeting. However, most humans enjoy it when it exists. The problem with fame is that it is very temporary, fickle and has a very short shelf life. However, while it lasts it is intoxicating and delectable. The famous anecdote about the politician who learns that an investigative article regarding his nefarious behavior was about to be published in the local newspaper,...

IGNORING REALITIES 10/28/2018 12:34 PM

The Jewish people are by their very nature an optimistic and hopeful people. We believe that things will get better and that we, in the world at large, really can and will have a rosier future no matter how dismal and discouraging current affairs may be. I have always regarded myself as an optimist and since, in my lifetime, I have seen many great miracles and accomplishments, I have always felt...

A BABY IN THE HOUSE 10/14/2018 12:23 PM

Over the recent holiday of Succot, my great grandson Zev came to Israel and stayed with me in my home for almost two weeks. Since he is only six months old he naturally brought his parents with him, also very dear to me but certainly not as cute as Zev. It has been many years since I had such a young baby reside with me for that length of time. I had forgotten the wonders that accompany a baby...