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Rabbi Wein’s Weekly Blog

Jewish Thought

CHOICES 7/25/2021 12:10 AM

As often happens when I sit down to my computer to write this weekly opinion article, I am faced with several choices as to the subject that the article should be. Often, I am bereft of ideas and subject matter, and I find it difficult to produce an article that would have some benefit to the reader about a subject in which I am not vitally interested. At other times, I suffer from pure writer's...

PEOPLE 7/11/2021 09:37 AM

It has often been stated that no individual person is indispensable. In spite of all rumors to the contrary, the world continues to go on apace even after we have departed from the scene. Yet, there is an important caveat to this corollary. It is the statement that though no one is indispensable, and no one is really replaceable either. Even though we may think of ourselves as mere cogs in the...

ON BECOMING A PROPHET 7/4/2021 12:00 AM

Lately, I realize that I am reaching a new status and level in life. I receive calls and requests daily from people whom I do not know, who apparently have no relationship to me, and who wish to hold conversations with me and seek my advice. Naturally, I am very flattered that somehow people both here in Israel, and in the English-speaking diaspora feel that I could be of help to them. The truth...

SECRET NUMBERS 6/27/2021 08:56 AM

In our cashless credit card world, we have all been introduced to the concept and necessity for secret numbers. You cannot just use your credit card to withdraw money or make major purchases without also revealing to that heartless machine confronting and challenging you, your secret code or number. One is supposed to commit this number to one's permanent memory, and not even carry around a...

EMAIL 6/20/2021 12:36 AM

We live in a time when written letters and even typed letters are no longer the main means of communication. Everything today is done by either mobile phone or electronic mail. I’ve become so accustomed to the reality of rarely receiving any written mail, that I am perfectly content that my postman delivers mail to our address once a week, sometimes even once in two weeks. I have concluded...

FAILURE 6/13/2021 12:29 AM

Thomas Sowell is one of the most well-known thinkers, social commentators and economists in the United States. He has a worldwide reputation, is an African American, a former Harvard Marxist, a man of wit and charm and of brilliant insights into life, society, and people. He is currently 90 years old. For almost the last 70 years since his disillusionment with Marxism, he has been one of the...

NO NEWS 6/6/2021 12:00 AM

There is a saying that no news is good news. There is truth to this statement, for when there is nothing lost, it signifies that nothing untoward has occurred and that life in society merely continues to roll along normally. I have always maintained that no news is also exactly what it says – that the absence of startling news is a neutral thing. Those in the world who have an optimistic view...

AFTER CORONA 5/30/2021 12:00 AM

Cautiously and hopefully, in the Israeli public, there is now a post-Corona state of being. Most of the population, except for young children have been vaccinated, and the numbers that have refused vaccination is not large. Furthermore, the number of daily cases reported has declined to 20 or 30 a day in the entire country. Because of this, the Israeli Ministry of Health has removed many...

SIRENS 5/23/2021 12:00 AM

One of the many skills that those of us living here in Israel rapidly acquire is the ability to discern between the different sounds of similar-sounding sirens. We live in a noisy environment and it is more than likely that in everyday living here we will hear some kind of siren. Most of the time the siren is from an ambulance transporting people to the hospital for treatment. The wail of that...

THE BOOK OF COMPLAINTS 4/11/2021 12:07 AM

When our children reached the age and stage of life when they were ready to get married, my wife and I were privileged to organize and participate in four weddings in a rather short space of years. Being a congregational rabbi, I naturally had to invite all the members of my congregation to the wedding ceremony and dinner. My wife and I labored long and hard over the invitation list and over...